Staff Spotlight: Susan Kromrie, Assistant Director

Assistant Director, Susan Kromrie, joined Trails on January 17, 2022. She comes to the library district from southern Missouri and has previously worked in libraries as an archivist, reference librarian, collection development and acquisitions librarian, and part-time cataloger. Read more about Susan below. Welcome to our team, Susan!

Can you share a little bit about your background before you came to work at the library?

I have had many roles over the years. I have been a farm manager, homeschooling mom, shift manager at Mcdonald’s, computer operator, computer programmer, and ten years as an academic librarian. As a librarian, I have served as archivist, reference librarian, collection development and acquisitions librarian, and part-time cataloger.

I grew up in Sedalia, went to college in Seattle, lived for three years just outside Yellowstone National Park, lived 18 years in Wisconsin, where I finished up my bachelor’s in History, then moved to southern Missouri. Now I am waiting for my house to sell so I can move to Warrensburg.

What aspects of library service are most important to you as an Assistant Director?

Sort of a trick question, since it is all important. As AD my job is to look at the big picture; to help the branch managers do their job, to help facilitate communication between the branches and administration, and to solve problems that come up. Plus help Jackie with long-range planning and anything else she throws my way.

What unique traits do you feel you bring to the Trails team?

Not sure how unique it is, but I have the ability to plow through material quickly and synthesize it. I can also make connections between pieces of information and help others understand things better with word pictures or analogies.

What is your favorite part of the job? Why?

I think it would be the variety. No day is the same, although I am getting into a bit of a groove. I have enjoyed getting to the branches and meeting everyone, seeing how all the different libraries are set up. But I really like writing and I am getting to do lots of that as we revise procedures, look at policies, come up with questions to ask during hiring interviews.

Hobbies or interests outside of the library?

  • I am a voracious reader – my standard reading goal in Goodreads is 100 books a year. I like to challenge myself with reading outside my comfort zone with recommended influential books and classics.
  • Camping – wood smoke is one of my favorite smells.
  • Sitting on the porch and enjoying conversing with the kids.
  • Board games: Mah Jongg, Sorry, Farming Game, Llamas Unleashed, Exploding Kittens.
  • Puzzles – we like to set up a puzzle table in the winter and take turns working on it.
  • Travel – anywhere and everywhere. I have been to all 50 states except Alaska
    • I want to travel a lot when I retire
  • When I am not frantically busy and stressed I like to make time for
    • scrapbooking,
    • blogging,
    • quilting,
    • cross-stitch (although I have to have larger thread count and bright light now).

Audiobooks, ebooks, or print?

What is this “or”? Audiobooks are great for long commutes and travel. I love my Kindle for ease of travel, lightweight, and I never run out of reading material. Its biggest disadvantage is it is hard to tell how much you have left in the book, and it is hard to skip to the end and see how it turns out (yes, I am one of those people). I love print books for the feel, look (leather and gilt), and smell, and it is my preferred format for study books.

Book recommendations?

  • I haven’t finished it yet, but Grant by Ron Chernow is very interesting and well-written.
  • One that I finished recently that was eerie and I could not decide if it was sci-fi/steampunk/mystery was The Raven Spell by Luanne G. Smith.
  • I love authors Susan May Warren, Priscilla Shirer, Anne McCaffrey, the St. Cyr mysteries by C.S. Harris, and lots of YA and MA fiction.

What non-traditional library resource do you wish more people knew about?

The library as a hub for information – not just a book repository. A lot of people do not know that libraries have community resource information as well as fun programs for all ages and databases for everything from genealogy to test prep.

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