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Kathy Mitsdarffer Closes the Chapter on Working at the A-H Public Library

Kathy Mitsdarffer enjoyed visiting with her “boss” and others at her open house on May 28. Pictured left to right is A-H Library Director Marsha Burgener, Marjorie Mosbarger, Kathy and A-H Library Board President Beverly Obert.

By Doris Elmore
Staff Writer

Kathy (Frantz) Mitsdarffer of Atwood is a lady that always has a smile, is helpful and compassionate and she has shown all of these traits for the past 25 years being a part of the Atwood-Hammond Library staff. Kathy decided it was time to clear her schedule and retire on May 28.

Her career as Assistant Library Director started in the fall of 1996. She loved bringing her girls to the library to read books. One day Library Director Marsha Burgener asked Kathy if she would like to work part-time. Kathy accepted the offer and her story at the library began.

The biggest challenge Kathy faced was the computer. She didn’t even know how to type, and her biggest fear was wiping out the Rolling Prairie Library System. Someone told her later that would not happen, just relax and learn. Each Thursday evening was Kathy’s night to work and also at other times when needed.

Kathy said she didn’t know many people in town when she started, but she has made so many friends over the years. She says there are so many nice, friendly and considerate people in the Atwood area. This will be a void in her life, being around all these people on a regular basis.

Kathy says she has met people she would never have met if she wasn’t out in the public. This was a definite plus with working at the library. Kathy remarked that people can lift you up. If you are having a bad day, a library patron can walk in and say something uplifting and it will turn your day to a happy one.

If people have a certain need at the library, Kathy was always willing to help them find what they were looking for. It was like a mission to her. She will also miss the fun comments and stories made by children and adults.

Kathy moved to Atwood when she was in the first grade. Her family moved to Hannibal, MO for her 4-5-6 grades. They moved back in jr. high and have been here since then.

Kathy liked to read and wanted her children to have the same experience with books. After she began her job at the library, Kathy said she didn’t have much time to read. Now that she is retired, she hopes to get back into reading.

When asked about the library job during Covid-19, Kathy stated, “It was a very scary and challenging time. We had curb side service and there were many state library guidelines to follow. They had to make sure all the books, etc. were wiped off with Clorox wipes and set long enough for the germs to be gone.” She was so glad when people could return to the library.

Kathy says the library board has always been very good to me over the years. We have had several changes, but they are great people.

Working with the different employees has been great. She enjoyed listening to and working with Jim Wierman, local historian.

Kathy was hired by Library Director Marsha Burgener and retired with Marsha still at the helm. Kathy says she has always been my boss, but the only difference over the years is she also became my friend. “She is the best person,” says Kathy, “I will miss her the most.”

A 1978 graduate of A-H High School, Kathy had minor jobs after graduation. She has been married to husband John, a retired brick layer, for 42 years. They have two daughters Heather (Phillip) Klay of Atwood and Lacy (Abe) Diaz of Tuscola. Heather has three children, Kori, 14, Langsten, 12 and Zander, 10. Lacy has Elena, 15 months. The grandchildren are definitely the apple of their eye.

Kathy was guest of honor at an open house on Friday, May 28, at the library.

Last, but certainly not least, Kathy will not miss working on the computer. She became fluent on the library program, but said she is glad to bid the computer good-bye.

Kathy plans to visit the library often, but there will be a different feeling. She won’t feel like a misplaced book, just one that has been put on the retired list. She is on the top of the best seller list for being a great employee. You will be missed by everyone Kathy, enjoy your retirement fishing, playing with the grandkids or relaxing with a good book.

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