By ANDY GOODELL
The literacy of children has been her focus for many, many years.
Children’s Librarian Linda Fox has served the Oskaloosa Public Library since Sept. 1, 1982. Fox’s last day at work before retirement will be Nov. 16.
Fox said she has no plans for retirement outside of completing some projects at home, adding that she has mixed feelings about retiring. She said she has loved working at the library. At the same time, Fox noted that retirement will provide a “fresh, new start” in her life.
“We’ve had a quality staff and a supportive community,” Fox said. “It’s been a wonderful experience for me.”
The combination of being able to work with children and books is what has made Fox’s work so enjoyable, she said.
While working at the library, Fox has spent a good amount of time leading literacy-based programs for children. She said using a multi-faceted approach to literacy has been at the core of these programs. The programs have used visuals, audio and hands-on ways of encouraging literacy among children.
Fox has also spent a great deal of time with outreach programing outside of the library’s walls at area day cares and elementary schools.
When asked why she believes it’s important to introduce young people to the library, Fox said libraries are there for people “from ultrasound to obituary.”
“Introducing children to the library, giving them a positive experience is going to make them lifelong readers and library users,” explained Fox, adding that many of the people who provide the library with memorial gifts do so because they first used the library as children.
In her years as children’s librarian, Fox has garnered numerous awards including the Friend of Education award from the Oskaloosa Education Association on two occasions. She’s also served on several boards and committees for the Iowa Library Association, Southeast Library Services Area and the State Library of Iowa.
“I’ve just been active with what’s been going on,” she said.
The Oskaloosa Public Library, Library Board of Trustees, as well as the Friends of the Oskaloosa Public Library are inviting the public to an open house reception for Fox from 4:30 to 6:30 Thursday, Nov. 15, in the Reading Room on the second floor of the Oskaloosa Public Library.