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though, was encouragement from Thompson, who said that though she was not a good fit this time around, she should continue her efforts to find employment in a library. A few months later Olson-Ferrell’s patience and persistence paid off and she landed a job at Augustana’s library as the acquisitions library assistant. “And that,” she smiled “was the beginning of everything.” She was there about nine months. “It was great. I loved it.” She worked closely with both the assistant director and Thompson, and came to view Thompson as a mentor. “She’s really informed about a lot of things and she was a really good teacher. … It felt like I was learning a lot. … I was very sad to leave Augie.” She left, for a job as a library assistant at the Yankton Public Library, which is where she found her calling. “I did a lot of marketing, a lot of cataloging, a lot of technical services, and then I decided I really do want to do this and so I started looking at masters programs.” Olson-Ferrell got her degree online from the University of Alabama, working all the while, and taking a job at USD’s library. After three years — and a whole lot of hard work — she had her masters and soon after, her first librarian position as the digital access manager at the USD library. But, when the library directorship came open in Yankton, she realized that she had come to miss how, in her opinion, public libraries directly affect the lives of many people in the community, not just the students. “I really missed how you just help so many people here. It can be draining because it’s an emotional labor, but it’s really rewarding.” Working in a public library is often compared to being a bartender or a social worker, she explained, because you get to know the clients’ personal lives. She concludes, working in a public library really is a radical thing. “Libraries are very unique institutions because they are open to everyone. And that is one of the great tenets of libraries — in addition to being actually great it is one of the higher tenets. I personally think that imbues everything with a sense of social justice, but that’s also my personal lens. Other people might not come to it looking at it that way, but I think that is a really radical notion in today’s society: We are open to everybody, no purchase required, no qualifications required, you can be as rich as they come or as poor as they come and we will serve you the same — theoretically — people are human and that doesn’t always happen, but that is the goal.” vBy Cora Van Olson F OR A unique boutique boasting a colorful variety of hand-curated women’s wear, shoes, hand bags and accessories. 108 W. 3rd St., Downtown Yankton • 665-2599 •••••••••••••••••••• Expert health care FOR ALL AGES Amanda Duxbury, MD, Heather Kleeman, DO, Mary Jo Olson, MD, and Anastasia Searcy, DO, Family Medicine; Chan Park, MD, General Surgery Make a personal, lifelong connection with the physicians at Sanford Vermillion. Our team specializes in preventive care, diagnosis and management of chronic conditions as well as general surgery. Call (605) 677-3700 to schedule an appointment. 018027-00342 6/17 HERVOICEvJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018v7

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