Cass library director Harper leaving for job in Colorado

Published 5:26 pm Friday, June 18, 2004

By Staff
CASSOPOLIS -- It was with regret that the Board of Trustees of the Cass District Library accepted the resignation of Director Mary Elizabeth Harper on June 16. The board was pleased to accept Harper's offer to work with it during the transition.
Harper's career at CDL began in November 1997. During her tenure, Harper automated the library, increased circulation to over 114,000 and greatly increased the number of library cardholders. She led the drive to find a permanent home for the Howard branch and then to raise money to renovate and furnish it. Harper was also responsible for the Mr. and Miss Catsopolis Contest from 1998-2001, and for bringing the internationally acclaimed Banana Slug String Band to Dr. T. K. Lawless Park in the summer of 2003.
In 2002, Harper was selected to participate in the Public Library Association,s "train the trainer" program for the "Results" series, which is designed to increase accountability on the part of library boards and staff. The NEW Planning for Results, Managing for Results,
Staffing for Results and Creating Policies for Results were written and tested by librarians who, like Harper, are also experienced leaders, evaluators, trainers and planners.
Dr. Harper will be moving to Colorado to manage the Highlands Ranch Library and is looking forward to the challenges of a larger library in an expanding planned community. Harper told the Cass District Library Board that if it were possible for her to do both jobs at once, she would. She was recruited for the new position, and the more she learned about the Douglas County Libraries, the more impressed she became.
Harper is looking forward to working with more staff and a bigger budget in a single large, new building.
In the near future, she will be helping the CDL board search for a new director, prepare the 2005 budget and complete two facilities projects. And, of course, Harper and the rest of the CDL staff can be found "laughing it up @ our libraries" this summer. She says it is not too late for readers of all ages to sign up for the summer reading program.
When Harper's departure date draws closer, the board will host a reception in her honor, to which the community will be invited.