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Stratford centennial
(1891-1991)

The village,   pp. 47-78


Page 75

Then Mrs. Spencer became very ill and I eventually took
over her duties as librarian. When I started it paid only thirty-
five dollars a month, and that was paid by the village.
"Why did you want to be a librarian?"
I've always liked books. I could situp and read until I was
blue in the face. And my children liked reading. I'd read to
them, and Cliff, my husband, would read to them too. I just
grew up with books. I guess that's why I was a teacher too.
"How did Story Hour begin?"
Story Hour was first held at the high school, in about
1969. At first, volunteers helped me. Some of the early
volunteers were: Terrie Clatterbuck, Joyce Grassl, Sherry
Steiner, Kari Wieland, Jane Wetterau, Michele Wood, and
Jane Becher.
Then it was moved to what was then the village hall. The
first Story Hour Librarian was Jane Becher, in 1974. The next
was Mrs. Bob Aschebrock, and then Rae Ann Schanz took the
job. Marie Babros is our current Story Hour Librarian.
"I understand you had a very special relationship with
Rae Ann."
"Yes, Mrs. Schanz was very special, and was great as a
helper. She was a great promoter of the library and was
wonderful to work with.We had a lot of fun preparing for the
summer reading program."
"Do you feel the library has come a long way?"
I do. Yes, because it was just that little library to begin
with. What is the library now was the village hall and what
was the library was in that small part between the community
hall and the village hall. The kitchen was off the library.
Where the library is now there also was a jail. When they
remodeled for the library, they tore out the bars and every-
thing. And that was quite a mess. I still have the key to the jail
cell door.
Our collection has grown to about 4,000 books on hand.
We also have over 15 different magazines that we receive,
including the Stratford Journal. We can also request books
now.
"What did you enjoy the most?"
The summer reading programs were always a great
adventure. The most fun were the Halloween and Christmas
parties, when the children were very excited. The looks on
their faces were always my biggest reward.
"Has there been a lot of damaged books turned in?"
The last few years have been very remarkable. Very few
books have been damaged.
But the fun part, a lot of times, was to find items
accidentally left in the books: from hairpins to bobby pins to
toothpicks to crackers, letters, even money ($22.00 one time).
Bills, both paid and unpaid, were often stuck between the
pages.
"Did you ever find anything unusual in the book return
box?"
A snake. A dead snake. I'll bet you could hear my
screams all over town.
"Now that you're retiring, what are you going to do with
all your time?"
Melvin Guenther, village president in 1982, presents
Dorothy Wiesman a plaque in honor of her years of service to
the Stratford Library. Current Village President, Paul Oertel
is in the background.
Jan Leiterman, current librarian at the Stratford Branch
Library.
Well, I have my hobbies: crocheting, knitting, and doing
bead ornaments. And Cliff has his gardening and outside
work. We belong to a lot of church organizations. And we'll
be spending a lot more time with our children and grandchil-
dren. Our family is very musical. We all play an instrument,
including the grandchildren. Perhaps we'll have more time to
play together. We also hope to travel and spend more time at
our cottage.
"Any last thoughts?"
Yes, a library can't survive without the help of a lot of
people.
I would like to thank all the organizations and people who
have helped me over the years. And a special "thank you" to
my husband, Cliff, who helped me most of all.
Recently a little boy was in the library and discovered that
Dorothy was retiring soon. He checked out his books and
headed towards the door. Butjust as he reached it, he turned
around and wished Dorothy a "Happy Retirement." On behalf
of the community, Dorothy, we wish you a "Happy Retire-
ment!"


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