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Elementary librarian retires after 42 years

By Wendy Sweeter

Lennox Elementary librarian Lois Klinger got her start in Lennox in 1978 in the high school.

Klinger had been running a daycare out of her home when the high school principal called her. He asked her if she would handle the study halls in the high school. That’s where she got her start working for the district.

Klinger grew up in Canistota. She worked as a surgical technician from 1963 to 1968. Then she and her husband moved to Mitchell where he was going to vocational school. While in Mitchell, she worked for two years as an OB technician. They moved into their house in Lennox in 1971. That’s when she started a daycare before going to work in the high school.

“I did that from January to the end of the year and then Verlyn Schmidt came, he was the principal in the elementary, and he asked if I’d be interested in the librarian job,” she said.

When she started, the elementary library was in a classroom across from Schmidt’s office. The library moved to another classroom at the other end of the building that was recently demolished. In 2006, the city and the school library went together in the old high school library.

She noted the location of the library, the number of books and the kids have changed in all her years in the district.

“What has changed is we went from doing all the catalog cards to doing it all on computer, which I really wanted for many years and we finally did it, which was great,” Klinger said.

Ever since the elementary library combined with the city library in the intermediate school, Klinger has worked with the city librarian. While they had independent budgets, they always worked together when the other needed help.

 With the addition of a media room in the new elementary addition, Klinger purchased some new books that will come this fall for the new librarian to put away. She planned to work this week moving some books over to the new library and hoped to be wrapped up by May 29.

Klinger said she will miss all of the kids that come to the library every day during the school year.

“I am going to miss the kids dearly and all the hugs. Of course this year, even at the end of the school year, we wouldn’t have been able to hug anyway. Some kids just need a hug and there’s days that I need a hug,” Klinger. I think I’m going to miss the kids and I’m going to miss getting books. I love the kids when they got excited about a certain series and stuff and watch them grow in reading.”

In her retirement, she and her husband plan to go to their camper in Yankton and crossing some things off their bucket list.

“There’s just some things on our little bucket list that we’d like to get done, go a few places while we can yet. I like to read. I like to garden and flowers and stuff. We’ll be busy I think,” she said.

Lois Klinger is pictured at right in front of Lennox Elementary.

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