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Mahan Feted At Retirement Open House

By Staff | Dec 27, 2007

GRAETTINGER – Susie Mahan has been a fixture in the community of Graettinger for many years. As the librarian at the Graettinger Public Library, Mahan guided the library through a building campaign that saw the facility move onto the community’s Main Street shortly after assuming her duties.

Since that time, the library has grown and undergone significant change under Mahan’s guidance and direction.

But, as the old saying goes, all good things come to an end. Mahan will check out her final book later this week, as she retires from the post she’s held since 1993.

A retirement open house and reception were held last Thursday, Dec. 20, at the library in Graettinger. A steady flow of patrons and friends came into the library to greet Mahan and reminisce over events and times during her 14 years as the librarian. At the same time, Mahan’s successor, Karla Ellis, was also on hand to meet and greet library patrons to ensure a seamless transition.

For Mahan, her career with the Graettinger Library started officially in 1992, when she was hired as a part-time librarian, working under then-librarian Maureen Sandberg in the original library location on South Cedar Street, adjacent to City Hall.

But when Sandberg left the position, Mahan was named Librarian in June of 1993, and immediately was thrust into the planning for the construction of a new library facility on Graettinger’s Main Street. The new 3,600 square foot library building allowed for a private meeting room, enlarged librarian’s office and work room, as well as enlarged periodicals area, a youth area and a location for what would become one of Mahan’s pet projects, the Memorial Wall.

Designed in the motif of a library stack, “books” representing donations and gifts to the library are inscribed with the names of the donors as a tribute to those who have helped support the library over the years.

In her tenure, Mahan has also seen the electronic age come to the forefront for the library. The Graettinger Public Library received new computers through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the public’s use, and Mahan has been an advocate for their use by library patrons as a way to enrich their library experience.

To replace Mahan, Karla Ellis has been hired as the librarian. A native of the Ringsted area, Karla and her husband Jordan and their new daughter reside in Graettinger. Karla comes to the library after stints with the Estherville Daily News as a reporter and Pharmacists Mutual Insurance in Algona.

For Mahan, the first priority of retirement will be some travel with her husband Don, but the couple will remain Graettinger residents.

“Graettinger has a very nice library in the community and it is lucky to have the library open as many hours as it is,” Mahan noted. “Being the librarian has been such an adventure that I will never forget.”