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Flower Memorial Library director will retire after 10 years


WATERTOWN — Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library Director Barbara J. Wheeler will retire in June after 10 years in Watertown to spend more time with her family and explore her passions.

“I don’t have any immediate plans to travel. I look forward to living next to my daughter and grandson in Wisconsin,” Ms. Wheeler said.

She said she will start her retirement by moving to Green Bay, Wis., to live near her daughter and son-in-law, Erin and Matthew Steffeck, and 7-year-old grandson, Roman Steffeck.

She said she plans to spend her time honing her passions and learning as much as she can.

“I want to spend time volunteering and possibly take literature courses without worrying about grades,” Ms. Wheeler said.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in library science.

“I always knew I wanted to be a librarian,” Ms. Wheeler said. “I’m strictly a fiction reader. I read a lot of science fiction.”

Ms. Wheeler said she has worked in libraries in Colorado, Alaska, Wisconsin, Alabama and North Carolina.

Library board of trustees President Stephen W. Gebo said Ms. Wheeler’s hard work has contributed directly to the growth of many programs at the library, including the expansion of the teen section, the addition of more educational programs and classes and the renovation and reconstruction of the library. She has been responsible for the facility’s day-to-day needs.

“The board is happy for her and she deserves to spend time with her family, but we will miss her, no question,” Mr. Gebo said.

He said the board will be looking to find a new executive director by May. He said the board will look for a candidate with quality experience in administration and experience working at a public library.

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