It’s been an exciting first week for new Waukesha Public Library Executive Director Grant Lynch.
Not only is Lynch new to town and the director position but last week the common council had an extended discussion about the mayor’s appointments to the Library Board.
Mayor Jeff Scrima did not recommend re-appointing long-time Library Board President Paul Kasprowicz in favor of his own appointees. The council delayed the new appointments, holding off until the mayor’s return and explanation.
Still, Lynch is sanguine about working with city government and optimistic about living in Waukesha and building a life here.
About the library board appointments and the involvement of the common council and mayor, Lynch said that he believes, as a whole, it’s for the betterment of the library.
“It’s wonderful to see their interest in the library and for them to take an active role in the direction it goes,” he said.
“Our enemy is apathy. The fact that so many people are taking an interest in the library is only for the positive.”
Lynch said Waukesha residents, city staff and employees have been very welcoming, displaying the hospitality for which Wisconsin is known.
“I’m acclimating quite well. I feel very much at home,” he said.
Thursday afternoon, he had a meeting with at City Hall and, in the late afternoon, a meeting with the Library Board.
Lynch used three words to describe his experience thus far with library and city staff: welcoming, accommodating, professional.
He’s looking forward to maintaining the momentum built over the last years, noting that the library has had a number of successful programs and initiatives.
Lynch pleased that the library is strong in programs like those in the children’s area. The library’s summer reading program, which had its official kick-off last week, already has nearly 2000 children signed up to participate. He is hoping for 3000 by the end of summer.
He also plans on working with library staff to maintain its high level of customer service. He is considering some changes to increase customer service, such as adding more digital and e-book titles, and, as librarian Lynch said, beginning “a new chapter” on the website.
“More and more customers are using the website to access the library,” he said.
Lynch, who moved here from Princeton, IL, is renting in Waukesha and in the process of relocating with his wife Whitney, a third grade teacher.
Next week, the couple is looking forward to attending the Waukesha Literacy Council’s spelling bee at Country Springs Hotel. They plan on taking part in many of Waukesha’s activities, Lynch said.