When Marilyn Daub left her role as library director at Wabasso Public Library in September it marked the end of her career.
In the end, Daub worked more than 37 years in libraries, as she began working as a librarian at the Wabasso Public Library in July 1985.
Prior to her 30-plus years service at the Wabasso library, Daub also worked two years as a school librarian at Wabasso Public School, two years at Cedar Mountain Public School in Morgan and a year at the middle school in Montevideo.
Daub graduated from St. Cloud State University with a media specialist degree, and when she began working at Wabasso Public Library it was only one room on the main floor with two shelves of children’s books. The remaining books were for adults.
“In order to do children’s story time we had to go out of the building, around to the north side of the building and then down the stairs to the children’s library area,” said Daub.
An addition was built in 1990 thanks to a large donation from Robert and Joe Daub, from various organizations in town, as well as through fundraising.
A large portion of Daub’s position at the library has been filled with fundraising. Working with the library board, Daub started the library’s annual November book sale and luncheon. With the assistance of children’s librarian Jane Klaers, Daub held raffles, sold Christmas ornaments and stationary, held book sales, luncheons, silent auctions, coffee and rolls on a Sunday morning and Jackpot Junction Casino fundraisers.
Her favorite program that they started 10 years ago in Redwood County is the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.” She and other librarians from Redwood County got together and designed a reading program for preschoolers. Many preschoolers in Redwood County have graduated from that program.
Reflecting on her career Daub noted she has met a lot of interesting people working at the library. Over the years, the library has had a variety of performers, authors, illustrators, magicians, musicians, collectors, ventriloquists, singers, storytellers and artists.
“Working here you can't be timid,” said Daub. “I’ve held onto rabbits, baby pigs, lambs, pigeons, chickens, caterpillars, llamas, goats, African centipedes, pheasants, dogs, cats, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, baby alligators, turtles, hissing cockroaches, butterflies, just to name a few.”
Daub also mentioned everyone knows that animals do not wear diapers. Yes, she has been peed and pooped on working at the library, which isn’t in the job description. With a career spanning several decades Daub has definitely done her share of hard work.
“I’ve moved the library collection five times since I’ve worked here. That’s a lot of books,” she said. “Each time we remodeled, everything had to be packed up and moved and then unpacked and shelved again.”
Daub expressed her appreciation to have had so many volunteers who helped move, remodel or even build shelving. Not only has the Wabasso library physically changed, so has the workings and technology in the industry.
“The most change I have seen is the use of computers,” said Daub. “When I started every book had a pocket and a sign out card."
For those who have never experienced this everyone had to sign their name when they checked out a book.
When Daub started at the Wabasso Library, it didn’t even have a telephone. Now the library has computers, copy machines and fax machines.
“The Internet has changed the library,” added Daub.
The library uses the Internet for everything.
“When I started at the library and I wanted a book from the Redwood Falls Library, I had to fill out a form, keep the pink slip here, send the white and yellow slip to the Plum Creek Office and they sent it to Redwood Falls. The book could then take three-four weeks to get to Wabasso,” noted Daub.
Now it only takes two or three days.
Daub added trying to request a book from the Twin City libraries could take six to eight weeks, now it only takes a week to 10 days.
Another big project that Daub tackled was adding the library collection to the online card catalog which was both a huge and time consuming project.
Daub and Mary Kay Welu spent months comparing titles, copyright dates and number of pages in order to add the book to the correct record.
The final weeks of Daub’s tenure at the library were spent finishing projects caused by the flooding in July, including painting and carpeting the basement, children’s area, meeting room and bathroom.
Just recently the children’s area reopened and programs will start once again.
An open house was held recently to honor Daub and to also welcome and introduce the new library director, Scott Sobocinski.
Also, the public was invited to see the newly refurbished children’s library directed by the children’s librarian Bernadette Thooft.
While Daub may not be in the library anymore, one can be sure she is going to stay connected to what has been such an important part of her life for such a long time.
The Wabasso Public Library is located at 1248 Oak Street and is open from Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to Noon, and from 16 p.m.