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New library director envisions community hub

When Kimberly Hennings started her career in Youth Services at the Zion-Benton Public Library in Zion, Ill., she never gave much thought to becoming a library director.

“I hadn’t given much thought to being a director until I was presented with the opportunity soon after starting in Bloomer as the children's librarian,” said Hennings, who is originally from Rice Lake. “After a lot of thought and consideration, I decided to make the move to director with a lot of support and encouragement from my Library Board of Trustees and I haven't looked back.”

Hennings has been the director of the Bloomer Public Library since 2009. Now, Hennings is taking over as Library Director at the Friday Memorial Library in New Richmond where she feels she will be able to bring a lot of good things to both the library and the community as a whole.  An open house for Hennings will be held on Friday, Feb. 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Friday Memorial Library.

“I envision the library being a community hub, bringing people and information together to enrich lives,” Hennings said. “I think the library is already doing a fantastic job of bringing wonderful programming to the community. I think having a background in youth services has made me a better director. I enjoy the challenges that come with being a director.”

Before applying for the position of Library Director at Friday Memorial Library, Hennings had been keeping an eye on the New Richmond library and the community itself for the last few years.

“I have been admiring the direction of the Friday Memorial Library for the past few years, especially with the building project on the horizon,” Hennings said. “It was evident from plans and talking with staff members that it is a very exciting time for New Richmond.”

After working at the Zion-Benton Public Library for a while, Hennings “got the itch” to be closer to her family and friends, so she accepted a job in Bloomer as the Children’s Librarian at the local library. Hennings later moved on to be the library director at the Bloomer library.

“I love the relationships you build with your patrons and the community,” Hennings said. “One of the core goals of the library is to provide access to information to everyone, and it is extremely rewarding watching how the library can fuel the community's passion for reading, personal growth and lifelong learning for any age.”

Aside from being a librarian, Hennings loves to get outside as much as she can in addition to being an avid reader.

“I enjoy reading, taking my Golden Retriever, Halligan, for walks, watching movies, snowshoeing in the winter and getting out on the lake or river any chance I can get in the summer,” Hennings said.

Hennings, formerly Kimberly Korbel, married Tony Hennings, a firefighter/paramedic with the Eau Claire Fire Department, earlier this year.

One of the many things that has Hennings excited about her new position at the Friday Memorial Library is the possibility of a new building being built in the near future.

“The prospect of a building project is very exciting to me. The role of the library is evolving right now; it is important to provide the technology and space a 21st century library requires,” Hennings said. “While we proceed with the goal of a new/expanded library, we must have the support of the community. We need to expand the community conversation in order to establish a plan and secure funding.”

Hennings starts at her new position on Monday, Feb. 17.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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