From the rapport she has already developed with patrons of the Newton Public Library, you wouldn’t know that Nicole Lindstrom is still the new kid on the block. In a particularly humorous exchange with one such patron, the two traded quips with each other like old friends.
“Young lady, what planet are you from that you don’t know what ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ by Garrison Keillor is?” the man said jokingly to the Lindstrom.
And without missing a beat, she replied, “A younger planet.”
And after that exchange, the two went off in search of the requested materials together still passing barbs at one another.
While Lindstrom may be new to Newton, she is no stranger to working in a library. At the age of 15, she worked part-time at the library in her hometown of Fulton. From that moment on, she fell in love with working in libraries.
“Before that (working in a library) I knew I wanted to be in libraries kind of because I loved books,” she said. “And after working in the library at 15 I just kind of stuck with it. Its the atmosphere of the library, you get a lot of nice patrons who visit a lot, you get a lot of nice people and with books you get to see the newest materials coming in.”
From that first library in her hometown, Lindstrom has also worked at several academic libraries and came to Newton from a library in Cedar Rapids.
“The job,” said Lindstrom of what brought her to Newton. “Public Services Librarian. I was really looking forward to getting out of academic and back into public. I really enjoy planning programs for a lot of the adults. We are at the beginning stages, so I haven’t seen what works and what hasn’t worked. But it’s really exciting to have a clean slate to start programs.”
Despite her desire to escape academia, Lindstrom has a strong background in it. She received her undergraduate degree from St. Ambrose University and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also got her start as a full fledged librarian in college.
“At my first full-time job, at the library at St. Ambrose University, I got to know a lot of the students that I worked with,” she said. “I still keep in contact with a lot of them today. I am a lot of their references and I still keep in touch to see how they all are. When I started there, I was just about to graduate, and a lot of them were freshman coming in.”
Lindstrom also has plenty of goals she wants to accomplish here at the Newton library.
“I really want to increase involvement in adult programming,” she said. “And to increase the amount of programs and services that we offer. Also I want to revamp the website that we currently use. I think that there’s a lot we can change on it and make it more user-friendly for our patrons and add more web links so that students can search more easily.”
Although she hasn’t even hit a full month of working yet, Lindstrom has some pretty lofty goals and wants to be the best librarian that she can be for the city of Newton.
“I’m here to serve them,” she said. “So if they have any programming ideas or a way to improve the information service that the library provides, come and see me. I am welcoming and, as much as I think I know about libraries, I don’t know everything and we are here to serve them.”
Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.