When a part-time job opened at the Elkhorn Public Library in 1985, Wendy Anderson thought it would be a good opportunity to make some extra money. As a local preschool teacher, she had already been volunteering at library storytimes. Within three years, Anderson was promoted to library director and has been leading Elkhorn’s library ever since.
The library itself moved to a new, larger location in 1996, which Anderson considers one of her greatest accomplishments. She knew that the Elkhorn Public Library was outgrowing its location at City Hall and appealed to the Nebraska Library Commission for grant funds dedicated to a new building. The Commission agreed and when word got out that they were looking for a new location, Bess Johnson’s family decided to donate the land in Johnson’s honor – as she was an avid library supporter. When Elkhorn was annexed by Omaha in 2007, Anderson stayed on as manager of the Elkhorn Branch as it became part of the Omaha Public Library system.
Anderson will retire on Nov. 7, 2014, and says she will most miss the people she works with and helps. “I learn something every day,” said Anderson. “I love information and learning, and it’s wonderful to be able to help so many people so easily.” She treasures the opportunity she’s had to make an impact on people’s lives, and seeing kids that she once had at her storytimes returning to the library as parents and bringing their own children.
As an active member of the Elkhorn community, Anderson hasn’t decided what she will do yet in retirement. Her interests include traveling, volunteering with her church and the historical society, gardening, taking classes, and being a grandma to her four grandchildren.
“Wendy’s service to Elkhorn extends well beyond her role with the library,” said OPL Executive Director Gary Wasdin. “We will miss her at OPL, but know she will continue to serve others in new ways – it’s just part of who she is.”