New librarian arrives in Washington

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


Bryna Walker has only been in Washington four days after taking over the position of Washington Public Library director, but hopes that her future will revolve around the Washington Public Library.

Growing up in Estherville in northwestern Iowa, she began her college at Northern Lakes Community College before earning a bachelor?s degree from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake in elementary education. She got her master?s degree in library science from University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee, graduating in 2010. She has been teaching for 15 years and specializes in reading and special education. She worked as the head librarian in Spencer for a year before joining the school district in Victor. She worked as the K-12 librarian for six years.


What brings you to Washington?

I was on the library board for Victor and my friend is the librarian there. She brought the job listing to my attention. I wasn?t necessarily looking for another job, but she knew I was interested in public librarianship. I had taken a lot of courses in my master?s degree work in public librarianship even though I was a teacher, just because I thought one day I could transition to this. It just so happened my daughter Alannah graduated high school and it was an optimum time to transition. She is graduating and she will be going to Clark University in the fall in musical theater and art. That will come in handy because I think she is going to move down here and participate in some of the theater events.


Since you have been in Washington what do you think?

I haven?t moved here yet. I will be moving on the 23rd. I like it. It is a bigger town and closer to Iowa City. More restaurants. Kind of the way I grew up with a variety of culture. I have lived in Colorado, Washington and Arizona, so it?s kind of like a lot of different things together. Its more multicultural and I like that.


What?s your favorite thing about Washington?

The library. I think it is unique because we have not just books, we have art displays. We are very open-minded with our genealogical library downstairs. We take in different sorts of archives, like we just had a Native American display put upstairs donated. I like the fact we have music incorporated because historically libraries were the hub of the arts. It is kind of bringing it full circle back to that. I wanted to work for a library that encompassed all the arts.


How did you get involved in library sciences?

When I was teaching I thought I would do that until my daughter graduated, but I was very good at English and I loved reading. it was something I loved. It was my passion growing up. It is just something I have alreays enjoyed doing. Something unique in my family is we are good at all the arts but my passion was writing and reading. I went back to that.


What are some of your hobbies?

Another thing that was enticing coming here was the cultural part of exercise. I?m a former dancer and I choreographed our musicals for the last two years at our high school. I love yoga and yoga seems to be big here. Other hobbies are obviously reading. it has just been a busy year with the musicals and going to my daughter?s activities. i?m going to have to find more activities for myself next year. I hope to get involved more and go to as many things as I can around town.


Where do you see yourself in the future?

Here, I hope.