Enhancing people's lives and opening doors for curious minds

MEET THE LIBRARY BOARD

 

Members of the Kaukauna Public Library Board work year round to guide and support all that Library leadership and staff do to provide a top-notch Library and services to Kaukauna community members.  During National Library Week we are celebrating them and sharing a little bit more about who they are and why they choose to give back to the Kaukauna Public Library.

If you would like to support the Library, consider making a monetary donation to our Interactive Learning Garden and large capital projects through our Library Foundation, or donate to youth and family programs like Summer Learning Program with a gift to our Friends of the Library

Donate:
Kaukauna Public Library Foundation

Friends of the Kaukauna Public Library

Olivia Fischer

Role on Board:  President

Kevin Hietpas 

How many years have you served on the Library Board? 1 year

Tell us about yourself:

I am the librarian at Kaukauna High School. I have been a school librarian for 13 years, the last 7 have been at KASD.

Why did you choose to serve on the Library Board?

 I love what libraries offer the community and it strengthens the partnership between the school district and public library. 

Why do you love the Kaukauna Public Library? 

The people and the programming. 

What book changed your life and why? 

As a kid, I did not like reading. The first chapter book I can remember reading was in high school and it was the book Holes by Louis Sachar. From there, reading took off for me. Helping people who don’t like to read find the right book is one of the reasons I wanted to be a librarian. 

Mary Jo Kilgas

Role on Board:  Vice President

How many years have you served on the Library Board? I have served on the Library Board for approximately 13 years.

Tell Us About Yourself:

I am in my 2nd year of retirement. Before that, I was a teacher of children with learning and other disabilities in the Kaukauna School District. I taught at Quinney, NDLC, and Haen Schools during that time.

Why did you choose to serve on the Library Board? 

I chose to serve on the Library Board because I have always loved books, learning, and libraries. I felt that I had something valuable to offer to the Board with my perspective and years of experience.  Wherever my husband and I travel to, I need to check out their library. The library is the heart of a community. To me, it was very important to keep our library downtown for easy access for everyone.

Why do you love the Kaukauna Public Library? 

The Kaukauna Public Library is focused on what the community needs. The building is amazing, but it’s what goes on inside it and even out and about in the community that makes me so proud to live here and be a part of this. 

What is something people might be surprised to know about Kaukauna Public Library?

 When we first began planning the new library, the square footage was going to be almost half the size it became.

What book changed your life and why? 

I don’t remember any book itself having an impact on me, but just being able to read was like a miracle to me. How did that happen?

I became an avid reader. If I don’t have a book to read, I feel lost. I remember in my early years, going to the library and feeling special to be there and know that all of those books were mine to read. I could choose whatever I wanted. It was a very free feeling. I have always gravitated to mysteries, but I’m open to suggestions.

Patrick Landreman 

How many years have you served on the Library Board? 8 years.

Tell Us About Yourself:

I am a retired CPA. I was a partner at Baker Tilly predecessor firms from 1963 to 2008.

Why did you choose to serve on the Library Board? 

I thought I could provide experience not present on the Board, especially after Charlie Fischer stepped down.

Why do you love the Kaukauna Public Library? 

The Kaukauna Public Library provides so many services and areas of information not readily available, to many people of different backgrounds and experiences. 

Joseph Lucas 

How many years have you served on the Library Board? 25 years. Since 1996.

Tell Us About Yourself:

I was a school psychologist for many years and then the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services for Kaukauna Area School District, until my retirement.

Why did you choose to serve on the Library Board? 

I had been a frequent user and supporter of the Kaukauna Public library and wished to contribute to its continuing growth and as a means of being a contributing community member.

Why do you love the Kaukauna Public Library? 

I believe one can tell a great deal about a community by it’s public library. I believe the Kaukauna Public library building and it’s programs are among the finest in the Fox Valley and the state of Wisconsin.  It’s programming offerings and services are exceptional.

What is something people might be surprised to know about Kaukauna Public Library?

The public might be surprised at the wide range of services and programs that are offered to our community. Additionally, we offer food supplies and clothing to those in need. 

What book changed your life and why? 

I have read a great many books in my lifetime. I don’t believe any one has significantly changed my life but in total have added to the quality, knowledge and enrichment of my life.

Anna Neumeier

Role on Board: Recording Secretary 

How many years have you served on the Library Board? 2 years.

What is your background? While I am originally from Upper Michigan and a Michigan Technological University graduate, I have called Kaukauna my home since 2010. My husband is a city engineer and we have three wonderful kids and a very sweet rescue dog. I started my own business working as a marketing communications consultant two years ago, and I also love reading, photography, and volunteering in my church.

Why did you choose to serve on the Library Board? I am very proud to serve on the Kaukauna Library Board because it is an invaluable community resource and I want to support their positive work in the community. I am constantly in awe of everything the Kaukauna Public Library does to care for its patrons, from school supply drives to pop-up food pantry events to winter clothing drives. The Kaukauna Public Library is a center for compassion and learning in our community.  

Why do you love the Kaukauna Public Library? I have always loved libraries ever since I was a kid, but I found a new level of appreciation for them once I started visiting our city’s library. The KPL offers an immeasurable amount of resources such as children’s story times, children’s play areas, an interactive learning garden, reading incentives for my kids, a work space for my small business that includes WiFi and meeting rooms, and, of course, access to books, movies, puzzles, etc… all for free! What I love most is that visiting the Kaukauna Public Library helped foster a love of reading in all my children and connected our family to the community. Some of my children’s earliest memories are from attending story times, and we have made lifelong friends thanks to these programs. At my most recent trip to the library, the staff cheered and praised the work my daughter has put into her reading skills. Little kindnesses often make such a big impact, and the look on my daughter’s face when the librarians said they were impressed with her was priceless. 

What is something people might be surprised to know about Kaukauna Public Library? You can check out mobile hotspots and laptops!

What book changed your life and why? I cannot point to one book that changed my life, but I would instead counter that my love of reading shaped my life and my perspective. Being immersed in a book and its characters, I can’t help but become empathetic to different viewpoints while challenging my own ideas and beliefs. I would not be the person I am today if I wasn’t open to the lessons of compassion, empathy, and intelligence that are shared in so many great books. Equally important to me have been the little board books my kids loved to hear over, and over, and over while sitting on my lap. 

Carol Van Boxtel

How many years have you served on the Library Board? I have served on the library board for 16 years.

Tell Us About Yourself:

Retired RN, Director of Education and Training for Affinity Health System.Am an author, local historian and genealogist.

Why did you choose to serve on the Library Board? 

Since volunteering at the library, I have become a strong advocate for the library and the community it serves.I am better able to support the library mission and goals serving on the library board.

Why do you love the Kaukauna Public Library? 

It is a given!I love the history room and cataloguing donated materials which relates to the stories of hard work and adventure in developing our community.I enjoy writing my Look Back in History articles.

What is something people might be surprised to know about Kaukauna Public Library?

That the KHS yearbooks and area obituaries are available on the library website and patrons can view from home.

What book changed your life and why? 

As a small girl I read “The Land of the Fox, A Saga of Outagamie County published in 1949.Reading the history of Kaukauna kindled a life-long love for local history.

Jane Vondracek

Role on the Board: Financial Secretary

             How many years have you served on the Library Board? Wow, it’s been 12 years, hard to believe.

Tell Us About Yourself:

I was a high school business teacher at Kaukauna High School.

Why did you choose to serve on the Library Board? 

I have always loved reading so I started volunteering at the library after I retired. When the position on the board opened up, I felt it was a good way to give back to the community.

Why do you love the Kaukauna Public Library? 

The library has been part of my life since I was a youngster. I participated in the summer reading program, brought my kids to the library and as an adult have volunteered.

What book changed your life and why? 

I can’t think of just one book. Books have taken me to many places and times, introduced me to people from long ago, taught me things, and enriched my life. 

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