Library Closed on Sundays Memorial Day through Labor Day

Library summer hours are in effect. MPL will be closed every Sunday through Labor Day. All other hours remain the same.

Manitowoc Public Library Adult Services Associate Says Goodbye

The following article was written by Therese Horstketter, an Adult Services Associate with the Manitowoc Public Library who is retiring after 27 years of service.

So long, farewell . . . Retirement is on the horizon . . .

What a joy it has been to be a part of Manitowoc Public Library for over 26 years! For someone who has always loved to read and visit our libraries as soon as I could on my own, this job was a dream come true. Working surrounded by books!! And other people who love books!

My family lived on the South Side of Manitowoc, near Henry’s Hamburgers, Dunning’s Grocery Store, Bud Willman’s, Cleveland Elementary School, and—best of all—the satellite library on 19th and Washington Street. I walked there every day and came home with a stack of books.

That led to borrowing from my aunt who read Harlequin Romances. But, she surprised me when she suggested an author of a series of murder mysteries, an author who eventually became one of my favorites. That really increased the field of items I chose to read and it introduced me to the library on Hamilton Street.

There have been periods in my life where I did not find as much time to read, but books have never been completely out of my life.

It was a dream come true when I was offered my position at MPL. I worked many nights and weekends, starting at 15 hours per week. I worked my way up to full-time, which included taking on the Volunteer Coordinator position. Though I was a bit tentative at first, I am so glad I took on this job. Volunteers are generous by nature, and many have become friends to me and I hope to stay in touch with them in the future. I’ve worked with many high school students also, and have great hopes for our future with much of the dedication I’ve seen.

My job has given me the gift of a second family. The people I’ve worked with have become part of my life in ways I will never forget and, fortunately, mostly for the good. Some will be friends forever, and others I may lose touch with, but will always think of fondly. We’ve been through a lot together—we’ve celebrated happy moments and held each other up during bad, as families do.

Since a large part of my job involves working with the public I have grown to look forward to seeing many regulars at the library. I love sharing books, not just as a part of my job. I was lucky to take part in Book Discussions, and our “Book and a Movie” program. I’ve watched kids grow up from cute toddlers to having children of their own. I’ve happily seen many friends become grandparents, both staff and patrons. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the excitement of several staff and a few patrons become authors! We’ve had so many special moments at the library—just recently celebrating 25 years in this building on Quay Street.

My job has been quite different in a variety of ways than I thought it would be. In the first year I was here, we moved the entire library from Hamilton Street to our current home. I took on many projects, and things I never thought I would. I’ve really enjoyed being on the radio with Craig at WCUB quite a few times and on Coolest Coast regularly to promote events. One of the most fun things I get to do on Coolest Coast is my monthly Book Banter program with Tina. We share a handful of books during each show.

I’ve written quite a few articles, and helped with projects and ideas that I hope have helped our library move into the future.

Security is part of my job, both for library materials sake, and for our patrons and staff. We’ve had scary moments, calling 911 to help ill patrons, and a number of times to make sure patrons and staff were safe.

Whoever thought our library would close its doors due to a pandemic?! I remember saying to my husband “We’re closing the library” . . . and just standing in shocked disbelief. And then we did it a second time. We worked in the building for a short while before we worked from home.

Once we were able to come back and offer Curbside Service, we received so many “Thank Yous” from patrons. The very touching moments included phone calls with people saying it was so good to hear our voices again and that our service was a lifeline for them. And it was wonderful for us to get back to “normal” once we actually opened our doors again.

We have a strong, beautiful, robust library, with a staff to match. I hope people appreciate how much we have to offer. Enjoy your library! We have generous lending limits and we’re always adding more materials for everyone to enjoy.

Be nice to our wonderful staff—we can’t always tell you what you’d like to hear, but we do our best for the hundreds of people we help daily.

As I leave my second home—with equal parts happiness for my retirement and sadness at all I will miss—it is good to know that I can return often, find new gems to enjoy, say “Hi!” to some treasured friends, and then head home to enjoy a good book.

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