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July 12, 2013

Mike Sakal, Public Information Officer

 Goodyear honors longtime librarian Fran Wendtland for years of service

After half a century, Fran Wendtland is closing the book on a prolific chapter in her life and soon will turn a new page.

Fran Wendtland, the librarian at the Goodyear Branch of the Maricopa County Library system since it opened in 2009, is retiring, effective August 10 after working in public libraries for 50 years and the last 43 as a full-time librarian.

Fran began working for her public library in her home state of Wisconsin as a teenager in 1963 – making 83 cents an hour as a high school page. She later completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in American History and a master’s degree in library science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The rest is history.

Although Fran has worked for libraries in five states – Wisconsin, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Arizona, Goodyear is claiming her and as its own. She has become a fixture in our library where she began working when the Goodyear library opened in 2009. She can go anywhere in the community and be recognized.

During the July 8 City Council meeting, Fran was recognized by Mayor Georgia Lord and Nathan Torres, City of Goodyear Parks and Recreation Director for her years of service. Fran was presented with a plaque from Vickie Hamilton on behalf of Councilperson Wally Campbell of the Friends of the Library and given a bouquet of flowers from Mayor Lord. Cindy Kolaczynski, Director of the Maricopa County Library District and Jeremy Reeder, Deputy Director of the Maricopa County Library District, also were present as well as the staff of the Goodyear Branch Library.

"This is truly a small token for all the work you’ve done," Mayor Lord said to Fran during the presentation. "We thank you for your enthusiasm and friendship. You could put books in a room, paint it and put furniture in it, but that doesn’t make it a library. It was for the atmosphere you created through your enthusiasm and helping the library to grow."

Fran said of her longevity in working in libraries, "It’s the customer service aspect that I like. There’s a misconception that we spend a lot of time with books, but we actually spend a lot of time interacting with the public. I like that interaction."

"Each community I worked in had its own unique flavor," Fran said. In Goodyear, it’s the pride of the residents and their enthusiasm for the community in which they live."

Upon her retirement, Fran will be moving to the Rochester, New York area where her son’s family and granddaughters live and pursue volunteer opportunities. Goodyear thanks Fran Wendtland for her years of service and congratulates her as she prepares to start a new chapter in her life.

                                                          – GOODYEARAZ.GOV –

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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749