Polk County hires new library director

Published 10:25pm Sunday, February 2, 2014

Polk County has a new library director who started her employment today, Monday, Feb. 3.

The county hired Rishara Finsel, who since 2008 has been the senior librarian for public services for the Flathead County Library system in Montana. Finsel said she feels like she is coming home after growing up in Bat Cave and Broad River.

Polk County's new library director Rishara Finsel. (photo submitted)
Polk County’s new library director Rishara Finsel. (photo submitted)

Finsel said although she’s been away for a few years, when she thinks of home, she thinks of western North Carolina. She said her first experience with libraries was in Broad River, where her “family lived out in the country, off the grid, and going to town was a trek, but we had a bookmobile that visited and we never missed it.”

She graduated from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro with a master of library information studies in 2008 after receiving a double major in 2005 from Berea College in Kentucky, with majors in art and industrial technology management.

“I think that libraries are opportunities for exploration, creativity and personal fulfillment,” Finsel said. “They are one of the most democratic institutions we have since they are there for everyone, and have something for everyone, regardless of age, income, beliefs, background or anything else. Libraries should be fun places, nurturing the love of learning and ideas through reading, watching and listening as well as through activities that support collaboration and engagement.”

While in Montana, which was in the northwest region just outside of Glacier National Park, Finsel worked as the senior librarian for public services coordinating services for the library’s three branches. She was over adult and references services and did collection management as well as administrative work.

“I look forward to really getting to know the ins and outs of Polk County and to learning what the library can do for its residents,” said Finsel. “I’m impressed by the level of community support that the library already has, as well as its facilities and services. I can’t wait to be part of its future. I think we will do great things.”

Finsel replaces former Polk County Library Director Cindy Nanny, who resigned in August 2013. Since Nanny’s resignation, Wanagwa Dever has served as the interim library director.

Dever will continue with her previous position at the library, according to interim county manager Marche Pittman.

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