Ann-Margaret Rice • The Good of Goshen

Ann-Margaret Rice

Director, Goshen Public Library

We have our books on the shelves. We have our media in the library. We have our digital resources and accessible wi-fi for free. We have extensive programming for children, teens, and adults. We’ve long been champions of children and teens in our community, and I think we’ve done a good job at that, particularly with teenagers. A lot of libraries sort of see that as an afterthought, and we for 20 years have put that in the forefront of our efforts. So I’m proud that we do that.

I started at Goshen Public Library in November 2000. Valerie Gross was the director then, and she remains a mentor to me today. She was a catalyst for me to go into this job. I’ve been the director here since the end of August 2019.

I certainly would like to ensure that we are a cornerstone of Goshen. I’m not sure that we have been recently, or that we’ve made an effort to assert ourselves in that way. I think we could do well to tell our story better, or speak about ourselves more out in the community.

 

We’re a great neighborhood library. The neighborhoods around us access us terrifically. We recognize all of our neighbors pretty frequently who come in here. But I’m not sure that we see a lot of folks from over by Model Elementary or north of town, or south down by where Prairie View Elementary is. I think there’s more work to be done to make sure we’re reaching a broad audience and not just the folks in our neighborhood.

It was Goshen Community Schools that brought my family here. We wanted to be sure that we were raising our kids in a diverse environment in a community that valued diversity, in particular. Aside from that, it’s a good foodie town. The restaurants are great, the drinks are great, the music is great. It’s really terrific that we are an arts community. The green initiatives that the city has sort of identified as a goal speak to us.

The people are friendly and easy to get to know. We moved here without knowing anyone, really. Our roots were 10 miles down the road in a smaller town where we knew everyone. But we’ve made great friends here, and it wasn’t hard to do.

Writing, editing, and photography by Scott Weisser and Neil King

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