New director named for El Dorado library
A familiar face in a new role will be walking the stacks and behind the checkout desk at Bradford Memorial Library in El Dorado.
Mica Hunter, who grew up in Augusta, has been named Library Director. She has worked at the library for 11 years. She said she didn’t start with a goal of being director, but when the opportunity came up, it was something she wanted to do.
“I think of the library as a place for people who are looking to find something,” Hunter said. “Whether that is access to a computer to apply for jobs, some light reading or movies for entertainment, more in-depth research or a place to touch base with familiar faces, we try to make those things easily accessible. It’s truly a place where people from all walks of life can find something to enrich their lives.”
She graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor’s Degree with an emphasis in psychology. She also was married that year, and moved to Dodge City for nine years, where her husband, Adam, coached. During that time she had three daughters, and when they moved back to Butler County, she was a stay-at-home mom. It was then she decided to pursue a degree in library science. She completed that goal through the School of Library and Information Management (SLIM) at Emporia State University. By the time she had graduated from SLIM, she was working part-time at Bradford Library. She has continued her career at Bradford since that time.
“One thing I have learned over the last 11 years is that you really can’t predict what’s going to happen in the library and fully anticipate community needs,” Hunter said. “We try to plan for the future, but it’s important to be flexible because you just never know. I believe it’s important for libraries to meet people where they are and try to provide what we can. Sometimes it’s figuring out how to accommodate people struggling with homelessness in our community. Sometimes it’s making sure that our collection represents all sides of current issues. Our mission is to be a neutral but welcoming place where people can come to find the resources for what they want to learn. To maintain that at this point in time can be a balancing act, so I am trying to take it as a personal challenge.”
All of her library experience has been at Bradford.
“My predecessor, Kristi Jacobs, was a great mentor and boss to me for 11 years,” Hunter said. “Over the years, she let me experience all types of public library work. I have primarily been the Public Services Librarian, in which I held programs and tried to promote the library, as well as working hands-on with the patrons and the collections.”
Hunter said she would like to see the Library have more of an online community and social media presence so people are aware of what they have to offer.
“We have a lot of resources; we just need to keep trying to get them into the hands that need them,” she said.