Steve Fosselman hands over torch to next generation

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 8:44 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - From ATracks to eBooks, Steve Fosselman has seen libraries survive through the digital age and now a global pandemic, but after almost 30 years as the Grand Island Public Library Director he is finally retiring.

“I just turned 66. It seems like the natural thing to do after almost 44 years in the library business," Fosselman said. “It’s time for me to hang up the library shingle, and pass this on to a new generation of library director that will do a fantastic job here.”

Fosselman landed his first job out of school as a library director in Spencer, Iowa. He then moved on to Council Bluffs, Iowa as a regional director for 60 libraries, and then later became the Grand Island Public Library Director on Feb. 25, 1991.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with the people," Fosselman said. "I’ve always enjoyed literature, always enjoyed information, and that’s a combination that the library fits in so well.”

Over the last 44 years, Fosselman has seen libraries adapt to the times. He’s seen libraries transform from print to offering digital formats, but to him this will never be better than a trip to the library.

“During the digital age, it’s especially important that we continue to serve people at desks, to not make people 100% go to an electronic library, because people are very social," Fosselman said. "They love going to the library, and our library is more like a community center.”

Fosselman fell in love with books, because they’ve always been a source of information for him. He believes now more than ever people need libraries to determine fact from fiction.

“It’s the public library that has the most information that’s accurate, not biased, and will help them through a pandemic or their taxes, or their health situation, all sorts of things that are concerns to them in their life,” Fosselman said.

Fosselman hopes to continue sharing information even after retirement.

“I plan on being involved in a lot of different civic ventures to keep on getting people information, maybe when it comes to voting or when it comes to taxes, or all sorts of things that I can be of help,” Fosselman said.

Celine Swan, the youth and services librarian, will take over as director until they find a replacement. Fosselman has been a great mentor to her, and has given her the tools to be successful.

“We’ve had Steve for 29 and a half years, and I’ve worked here for 20 years,” Swan said. “He’s just been a great mentor, a great person, great human being that cares a lot about our staff, patrons and community.”

Fosselman will miss seeing staff and patrons at the library, and said he’d wait to walk out with staff at close for the very last time.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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