Passion in regards to her job is evident when talking to Wanda Bennet, librarian at the public library in Ladoga.

Wanda was born and grew-up in Blackford County (Montpelier). While in high school, she met her wonderful future husband, Dan, at church. Wanda graduated early and went off to Ball State to major in Education with a minor in Library Science.

The move to our area began when Wanda received her first teaching job for the Southeast Fountain County school system. After Dan and Wanda were married (summer of 1979), they moved to Michigan City. Unfortunately for them, but oh so lucky for Montgomery County, the job market was unstable. Thus, they returned to their adopted area in midwest Indiana where Wanda spent the next 15 years as a media specialist at Covington Elementary. Dan has worked at Subaru in Lafayette for several years. It was 15 years ago that Wanda's time at Ladoga commenced.

Wanda is a born librarian. It was easily noticeable. While sitting with this enthusiastic educator, I viewed patrons visiting as she greeted each one of them with vigor. Not only did her eyes light up with excitement, but she was courteous, accommodating and meticulous.

Along this line, promoting the library is fun for Wanda, as she talks to the elementary school kids; sororities; and to people at other meetings. She particularly loves going to the local preschools. Wanda is available at almost any time to come talk to a group. She also sends out a newsletter and keeps patrons informed about what is happening at the Ladoga-Clark Township Public Library, be it new books, magazines, events, fundraisers, grants (she had just received one) or the beloved Summer Reading Program with its amazing aspect of Lunch Bunch, Wanda lets her people know. Books, magazines, interlibrary loan, genealogy, internet, and lots more extras are quickly available, and the library is obviously one of the central parts of the community. It all requires a great amount of work, and Wanda never shies away just because something is time consuming or difficult.

Wanda had a bulletin board about the history of the library that caught my eye. Other visitors looked over the history board as well.

This brought us to a big part of a librarian's job, programming.

The favorite adult programs at the library were jewelry and paper making. Marcus Lehmann, magician, has been Wanda's favorite program to date, because he is hilarious and involves the kids in the production. A family Astronomy program at the McCloud Nature Park near Roachdale for an Astronomy presentation where the kids got to look through telescopes just their size at Mars and other planets was enjoyed by all those who attended, as well. A bit worried about what the economy will do to little town libraries, Wanda said her upcoming goals are to keep the doors open and keep people coming in! Luck to you, Wanda Bennett; if anyone can do it, you can kiddo, and thanks so much for being this week's subject for "Around the County!"

An addition to the Around the County is coming up - called Nifty Nineties - if you have someone to add that is 90 or beyond, please let me know. Just give me a sentence or two to describe the person(s) and send it my way (karen.zach@sbcglobal.net) or call 435-2843 (cell 366-6259). Here is an example!

!!Nifty Nineties!!

Lillian Presslor - a Waveland resident, Lillian loves genealogy and getting together with her family.