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Final days on the job for Burlington Public Library director

Rhonda Frevert said she is grateful for the opportunities given by the Burlington Public Library.
Burlington Public Library
courtesy photo
Rhonda Frevert said she is grateful for the opportunities given by the Burlington Public Library.

The director of the Burlington Public Library will be leaving the position after this week. She said she enjoyed her time serving the community.

“It’s a hard place to leave. We have a great facility, a wonderful team here, the Board of Trustees, and a great community,” said Rhonda Frevert.

“I’ve met so many people over the last 20 years coming in and using the library. I’ve been grateful for that opportunity.”

Her career will next take her to downtown Des Moines, where she will be the supervising librarian for the city’s central library.

Frevert came to Burlington from Chicago, where she worked at the Newberry Library, which is an independent research library.

The Burlington library was still in its old building when Frevert came to town to serve as head of reference services.

The library moved into its new location about four years after she arrived, and around a year later, in October of 2007, Frevert became its director.

“When I came here it didn’t even cross my mind that that would be where I would end up,” Frevert said.

“But when the opportunity opened up I thought it sounded like it would be an interesting challenge so I went ahead and threw my hat in the ring and I was really fortunate to be offered that position.”

She said during her time as director, the library worked to improve its services and make the best use of its new building.

“We’re very fortunate to be in this space. It’s a beautiful building and we’re really fortunate to have this building for the community,” Frevert said.

She said the use of meeting rooms has increased dramatically and that the library has become a place where people come to meet and hang out. And she said the children’s area has become a place where families hang out.

Frevert said those are examples of the role libraries play in the 21st century. She said libraries today also offer more hands-on activities.

“We offer a lot of STEM activities for the kids. Our team has gotten multiple STEM Scale Up awards. We just got a water table and ioponics and robots and things like that,” she said.

Frevert added that the library now circulates mobile hot spots and chrome book kits, and people can come to the library to use its public computers. She said today’s libraries play a lot of different roles in helping people be successful in whatever they need.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.