Sue Ridnour, New Director of the Flower Mound Public Library
Sue Ridnour worked in the local public library as a teenager and did not intend to become a librarian, but as the new Director of the Flower Mound Public Library, she loves her job. Sue is a 1987 MLS graduate of TWU SLIS. She has been working in libraries for over 25 years and began her library career in law libraries. Sue later moved to the Carrollton Public Library, where she worked her way up to Public Services Manager, before moving to the Flower Mound Public Library, where she was Youth Services Manager from 1999 to 2012. In January 2013, Sue was appointed Interim Director of Flower Mound Public, and then she was selected as the Director of Library Services in March 2013. Sue’s path to library administration is somewhat unusual in that she came from youth services instead of adult services. In addition to her library work, Sue is an adjunct instructor for TWU SLIS, teaching the course LS 3013: Library Materials for Children.
Sue’s top priorities as the new library director include developing a strategic plan and building an addition to the library. As part of the strategic planning process, the library evaluated the demographics and needs of the community. The needs evaluation shows a shortage of meeting spaces for community groups, and as a result, Sue hopes to work with the city on a building master plan to add study rooms and a program room to the current building.
Sue is also looking at the role of technology in providing services and is proud of two technology grants the library has recently received. Due to strong community interest in having a mobile app, the library applied for and received a TSLAC “Mobile Solutions” grant for the development of its app. The library is currently working with a vendor on the app. The library was also the recipient of a Texas Book Festival technology grant. Using the grant funds, the library purchased five popular tablet and e-book devices, which are used for teaching and support, such as classes on e-book and digital audiobook services. Audio e-books are very popular with the large population of commuters in Flower Mound.
Involvement in the local community is also important to Sue, as she has joined the Rotary Club and attends meetings of the Flower Mound Parks, Arts, and Library Services (PALS) Board. The library supports the community through its collaboration with Lewisville ISD, which encompasses Flower Mound. The library collaborates with LISD teachers and librarians, who are using iPads as part of the LISD 1:X initiative to distribute iPads to students. The library has done a Skype session, using an iPad purchased with grant funds, with a local school library as a way to show the students the available library resources and for them to “meet” the Flower Mound Public librarians. The library is considering using Skype for virtual author visits to the adult book club. The library also works with the local Senior Center to provide “digital demos” and book discussion programs.
Sue appreciates the support of the Friends of the Flower Mound Public Library. The Friends group has very successful used book sales, the proceeds of which support small projects that Sue proposes. Recently, the group funded conference attendance for one librarian to attend the ALA Annual Conference and for Sue to attend OverDrive’s 2013 Digipalooza (International User Group Conference for partner libraries). The Friends group is also funding the purchase of new big-screen TVs to be placed on the wall behind the main service desk. These will be used to announce programs and provide general information.
When asked about qualities she would like to see in new MLS graduates, Sue said that for public library work, graduates must have good “people” skills and a good attitude. They do need technology skills, and familiarity with the publishing industry is helpful; but good customer service skills and a willingness to work with the public are essential qualities.
Sue truly enjoys her position as library director, and she is glad to live near the library. She and her husband are residents of Flower Mound, and they have 2 grown children.