June 28, 2018
By David Nordby The Brillion News
BRILLION – If her career were one of the many books that she has enjoyed reading or discussing in her life, she would be nearing the book’s climax. This week, Chris Moede is closing the book on her career as the director of the Brillion Public Library.
“I put in 33 years and came to that age and thought I could retire and take a different chapter of my life,” Moede said. “My grandchildren are growing up and I want to be able to at least see some of their activities and things before they are out of school. Just kind of enjoying life, taking it day-by-day, do what I want to do, sleep in a little bit.”
Her husband is already retired after working in multiple fields. The couple has two boys and three grandchildren.
Advice has been handed to her to not commit herself to too many things during her first year of retirement, but she has plans that are already developing.
In addition to volunteering, she has been working on a memoir of her life growing up on a farm with a large family in Charlesburg. She has the book broken down into 10-12 chapters.
Her uncle, also a librarian, got Moede reading at a young age.
“Actually my first books that he brought into the house were the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. That really got me hooked on books. After that, any good book I could read,” Moede said. “I love reading.”
When she started at the library, most of her reading was non-fiction but people who came into the library were reading fiction.
“Why are these best selling authors? I have to know what they’re reading,” Moede said. “I became hooked on it.”
The different events held at the library in the last 33 years have changed as they work to follow current trends. Moede lists author visits as her favorite, and reading groups as another.
Story times have been a staple, but the library has branched out into other programs for kids. Years ago during the summer they had sleepovers, which transitioned into day camps.
“Our book discussions have been great. I think that’s one thing I’ve seen evolve. I think that’s more popular than ever now,” Moede said. All ages attend the groups; a 96-year old woman has been a recent member. “It’s really neat seeing.”
Genealogy groups have also become a mainstay at the library, but other family members have already chronicled Moede’s family.
“The one thing I might tackle in the future is my husband’s family,” Moede said. “It’s not so much who follows who, I really like seeing their stories … It’s the personal stuff that makes it real.”
Under Moede, the library teamed up with other Calumet County libraries on health grants.
“We were actually honored as the national winner for information on health,” Moede said. “That to me is probably my crowning glory.”
Please see the complete story in the June 28, 2018 edition of The Brillion News.