If you stop by our neighborhood branch of the Seattle Public Library with any frequency, you may have noticed a new face recently. On October 9, Dawn Rutherford had her first day as Wallingford’s new Supervising Librarian, replacing her predecessor who has moved to Canada. She comes to us from the Snohomish-Island County library system where she was Teen Services Coordinator and also manager of the Brier Library (not all at the same time!).
Rutherford grew up in Spokane, attended college in Bellingham, and has been living in Seattle since 1999. By our modern standards, I’d say she’s practically a Seattle native!
I stopped by the library for a quick meet and greet, then followed up with some emails. I’d like you to meet our new Supervising Librarian …
Wallyhood: Can you tell us what the “org chart” is like at SPL? Are you the top person at our branch? Who do you report to?
DR: I’m still learning the “org chart” myself, but basically each neighborhood library is run by either a Supervising Librarian (with a Masters in Library Science) or an Assistant Manager (who is not required to have a library degree). We all report to the Region Manager, who leads a group of libraries. Wallingford is part of the Northwest region, along with Green Lake, Greenwood, and Broadview. Our Region Manager, my boss, is the excellent Darth Nielsen.
Wallyhood: Do you have any personal connections to Wallingford that you would like readers to know about?
DR: Alas, I’ve never lived in Wallingford myself, but Wallingford has long been one of my favorite parts of Seattle. So I’m thrilled to be here. I’m a bit of a foodie, and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to become even better acquainted with the local restaurants. And as a poetry lover, I’m excited to attend more events at Open Books. I have a lot of friends in Wallingford, and my science-fiction book group meets here from time to time, so I’m very familiar with the neighborhood.
Wallyhood: You wanted to highlight some of the computer offerings at the library. What can you tell us about them?
DR: In order to increase services to the community, we just added eight new laptops! These can be checked out (for in-library use) to anyone with Seattle Public Library card. We also have added a couple of comfortable chairs they can be used in, or just as a nice place to read. We are also adding two iPads for adults, and one for children that can also be checked out to use in the library. For anyone who has been curious about trying one out, we encourage you to come on it. We’d be happy to get you started.
Additionally, SPL has an amazing collection of materials you can access from home or on your phone! If you haven’t downloaded an ebook or checked out Hoopla yet, we would love to get you started.
Wallyhood: What would you like Wallyhood readers to know that I haven’t asked you?
DR: Well, I’ve been volunteering or working in libraries since I was 13 years old, and spent nearly a decade each at King County and Sno-Isle Library systems. Throughout my career I’ve gained a reputation as being a strong advocate for library services to teens. It should come as no surprise that I’m an avid reader, like most librarians. My taste is pretty eclectic and I love discovering new perspectives. I’m fond of audiobooks, which enable me to keep reading while doing chores, commuting, or walking my adorable French Bulldog Liza Lou. But I especially love comic books and graphic novels, and had the honor of serving as a 2017 Eisner Awards judge. I’m happy to make recommendations in any of these areas, but if none of these interest you, please challenge me! Finding the right book for the right reader is one of my favorite parts of the job.
In the coming weeks and months, Rutherford hopes to post articles here on Wallyhood to let us all know what’s up at the library. So look for those. And in the meantime, be sure to check out the SPL website.