Doing what she loves

Renee Evje works with youths in E.G.

-Messenger photo by Karen Weld
Renee Evje, Eagle Grove Memorial Library youth services director, reads with Slade Babb recently in the youth portion of the library. Slade is an Eagle Grove Schools fourth-grader.

EAGLE GROVE — “Do a job you love; and you will never work a day in your life.” That well-known saying could speak of Renee Evje, youth services director of Eagle Grove Memorial Library, a position that she will mark 25 years in this coming March.

A lifelong resident of Wright County, growing up in Clarion, living in Goldfield, and most recently in Eagle Grove, Evje takes care of all the kids programming at the library.

“I organize each summer’s Summer Reading Program and lots of community outreaches,” she said. She looks forward to the summer of 2018 and the state program Libraries Rock, eight weeks of fun in Eagle Grove.

“I go to the preschool (day care center) weekly,” said Evje, “and I go to the Eagle Grove Schools to do reading with younger students when I am asked, as one of their guest readers.”

Thursdays are popcorn days at the library — an opportunity for library-goers to eat, read, and check out books. Every other Tuesday, Evje heads for Goldfield to the Presbyterian Church for an after-school library time with youngsters.

-Messenger photo by Karen Weld
Renee Evje enjoys working with youths at the Eagle Grove Library, a position she has held for nearly 25 years.

The library was built in 1976, but the 20-foot-by-30-foot children’s wing was added in the early 1980s (to the west) due in part to funding by the Margaret Rankin estate. The area comes alive with board books to those suitable for young adults, DVDs are available, tables and chairs of various sizes, three computer stations are geared for youths only (another six stations are available in another sections for older users), tactile toys, puzzles, Legos and craft items.

Some events and activities are seasonal. Most recently the library hosted its annual Breakfast with Santa (usually the second Saturday of December) and a Christmas craft evening.

“We have good participation with both events,” said Evje. “Kids have a good time.”

Jan Grandgeorge, head librarian, said of Evje, “I couldn’t run the library without Renee. She is my right-hand person, always willing to do whatever needs to be done. She is eager to do various outreaches which is good for our library but also our community and our kids. It is really important to read for and with children.”

Most recently the Eagle Grove Lions Club members asked how they could support the library.

“Some of the club’s members come to the library once a month after school the first of each month,” Evje said. “They do some crafts with the young people. Some play card or board games. We have several giant games (Jenga and Plinko) which everyone really enjoys. We just started that event within the last year.”

“I love what I do and enjoy working with the kids,” said Evje.