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Library switches directors: Whitt brought new services to library

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Stacy Vogel
August 1, 2008
— A love of libraries runs in Sherry Machones’s blood.

Her grandparents, Italian immigrants, loved the free services available in the United States and took Machones to libraries when she was very young, she said.


Machones has been working at libraries—including Beloit, Hedberg, UW-Rock County and Milton—since she was 15. Her sister works at the Beloit Public Library.


So perhaps it should come as no surprise Machones has been named director of the Edgerton Public Library.


Machones, 29, is a senior library assistant at the Milton Public Library. She will replace outgoing Edgerton Library Director Kathy Whitt on Sept. 2.


Whitt will retire at the end of August after eight years with the Edgerton library.


Machones will graduate from UW-Milwaukee in December with a master’s degree in library science. She hopes to move to Edgerton soon with her husband, Michael, and 8-year-old stepson, Anthony, she said.


“I just really love the small, close-knit communities,” she said. “You get to know everybody in your community.”


Whitt says she will miss the people of Edgerton when she retires after eight years with the library. She hasn’t enjoyed every moment of being library director, she said, but overall, the experience was “a blast.”


Whitt, a Madison resident, is proud of bringing the library up-to-date and helping with the expansion while she was director. When she arrived in 2000, the library still was using a paper card catalogue, she said.


“I said, ‘That will be gone by the end of the year,’” she said. “And it was.”


When the library expanded in 2005 and 2006, it went from offering three public computers to 12, along with two catalogue computers, Whitt said.


Edgerton, along with Hedberg and Beloit, was one of the first Rock County libraries to participate in the RockCat consortium last year. The collaboration allows residents to quickly access books from all over the county delivered to their home library.


Today, the library is working to implement a collection management tool to track books with radio receivers. The tool should help library employees find books that are lost, Whitt said.


The library is using leftover money from its expansion fund for the technology.


Libraries have to change their ideas of what they’re supposed to offer, Whitt said.


“Your view of what a library is changes when you try to keep up with what others are doing,” she said. “It’s no longer a warehouse where you go to pick up books.”



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