Well, just like that, the dream job is over.

This morning, I resigned as the director of the Lake Elmo Public Library. I imagine this is pretty shocking news, unless you’ve talked to me in the last couple weeks.

I’ll tell you what, it’s shocking news for me. I tried everything I could think of to make this work but I just wasn’t able.

I don’t really want to go into much detail here, if you want the full story, just call me or email me and I’ll tell you, it’s not a secret. The short version is this.

They promised me they would make me full time, which is why I was willing to kill myself these last four months; working to make this happen. Just under two weeks ago, they reneged on that promise. They made it clear to me they would not be hiring me full time, probably not ever.

It’s incredibly disappointing. I’m very sad today. However, I’ve realized I can’t make this be the job I wanted. The job, the people, the library, they are exactly as they are. There was no room for change. I tried my best to make this match my vision and it just wouldn’t bend. So I had to face the fact that no matter how good this job looked, it was simply not the job I wanted it to be. And I had to let it go.

Regardless of this bitter ending, I am leaving this job with my integrity intact and a healthy dose of pride for what I accomplished.

In under three months, with no staff, limited support (no one with library experience), and no money, I managed to launch a public library. It’s a rare and incredible feat and I’m very proud of what I did. On main street in downtown Lake Elmo, there stands a little library. It’s quaint and charming, a testament to the community and to the volunteers who pitched in with the time and love. Mostly, it is a testament to me. The director who worked, often beyond the hours for which I was paid, to build this little library from nothing.

No matter how it ended, you will always be able to visit that library and know that I was the one who built it. I was the one that made an empty shell of a building into a library.

I did that. And that is what I am taking from this experience. My last official day is Friday. Until then, for just a few more days, you’re welcome to still call me Madame Director.


I’ve been talking a lot lately about starting this new library. If you’re on my email list, you might have gotten the plea to come visit during opening week.

However, if you can’t visit (or just haven’t yet) how about a tour?

One of my volunteers and her husband did this for us. It’s a virtual tour of the library.

Also, for those who haven’t yet seen the media storm:

Here is a link to the Star Tribune article (and yes, that is a photo of me – and also, that is my car parked on the street in front of the library.)

Here is a link to the (more recent) Pioneer Press article

That article from the Pioneer Press has been picked up nationally by the Sacramento Bee and the Watertown (SD) Public Opinion. I’ve heard rumors of it in other areas, but none have been confirmed.

That article, by the way, ran on the front page. Not the front page of one of the sections, but the headline article to the whole paper. It was very exciting for us all.

And an article from the Stillwater Gazette is here.

We are officially open for business these days, so thing are ticking off smoothly. Well, smoothly might be a gross exaggeration, but at least we’re open.

Next stop is our official Grand Opening ceremony. Any chance that anyone knows a local celebrity who will come?


For those of you who have been following my ongoing meteoric rise to celebrity status, did you see me in the paper a couple weeks ago?

I’ve been meaning to blog this for some time; and to give the whole story, but who has time for that? Instead, I’ll just link the online article here.

And yes, that is my car in front and a week after that photo was taken we got the books on the shelves.