Local librarian honored with state award, and it’s practically a dream come true
Julian Paras, KPVI
IDAHO FALLS (KPVI) — An Idaho Falls woman has been declared Idaho’s Librarian of the Year.
“This is a little surreal for me — just being nominated for it,” said Beth Swenson, assistant director at the Idaho Falls Public Library. “To be the one that receives it, especially in such a hard year where I know a lot of other librarians were doing a lot is just such an honor,”
Every year, the Idaho Library Association chooses a deserving recipient who went above and beyond to assist their communities. For Swenson, the community library is a place that has always been a part of her life. Her mother used to work at the Idaho Falls Public Library as well.
“I remember running up and down the ramps, using the computers, and checking out books and walking here,” she said. “It’s been a really great treat I guess to come home.”
One of the reasons she got the award was because of her role in making sure things ran smoothly at the library during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also orchestrated the Idaho Library Association’s conference online with just two months to prep.
She jokingly said her mom is to thank for being this year’s recipient.
“It’s a great testament to her. She obviously raised me right,” said Swenson with a laugh.
She also credits the hard work of her team at the library.
“(The award) is also to the library,” Swenson said. “I couldn’t have earned this award without my co-workers, my director and this amazing community.”
Although some of her work consists of administration duties, her favorite part is the interaction with library patrons.
“It’s really just talking with the people that come in discussing books, new ideas and all that fun stuff to say ‘Hey have you read this? You’ll love it!'” she said.