Beth Nelson named new director of Rushford Public Library

Beth Nelson, new Rushford Public Library director.
By : 
Scott Bestul
Tri-County Record

The Rushford Public Library Board of Directors knew they faced a tall order filling the shoes of retiring director Susan Hart. As it turned out, Hart’s perfect replacement was working just down the road.

Beth Nelson, who has been working in the Rushford-Peterson School library for the last decade, was recently hired by the library board to serve as the new Rushford Public Library Director.

“I’m honored to have been chosen to continue to build on what Sue Hart has done for our library and our community,” Nelson said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to share my passion for instilling the love of reading and learning, as well as my love of libraries.

“Working at the school library for 10 years gave me the experience of different levels of library management, and that gave me the knowledge and confidence to run our public library. I’ve used the same Horizon cataloging system and SELCO system at school that’s used at the public library, so that will help with a smooth transition.”

While her duties began March 5, Nelson will work with Hart for a time before assuming full responsibility. “It will be ‘business as usual’ for awhile,” Nelson said. “Susan has a great system in place, and I want to see what the needs are for the patrons and the community before I implement any changes and or new programs.”

Nelson lives outside Rushford with her husband Darrell and son Matthew, who is a senior at R-P. They also have two daughters. “Jessica is married, she and her husband Lucas live in Winona,” Nelson said.  “Ellen is attending college at UW-Madison. We moved here in 2000 from Rochester, since this area reminded us of the Arcadia and Galesville area, where we grew up. The Rushford area was also close to family in Wisconsin and a good central location for Darrell’s work.”

In recommending Nelson’s hire to the Rushford City Council, Library Board Chairman Burt Svendsen reported that the board was impressed by Nelson’s “enthusiasm and energy, in addition to her knowledge of the system, and the challenges as well.”

Though she has no immediate plans for change, Nelson will no doubt bring her own creative energy to the post. “I do have some ideas floating around,” she laughed. I’m always thinking of creative ways to encourage reading and the love of libraries. I encourage people to stop in and see what we’re up to!”