Mica Hunter is continuing to share her love of books with El Dorado through a new role at Bradford Memorial Library. Hunter recently was announced as the new Library Director.
Hunter 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.
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, who grew up in Augusta, didn’t start out on a path for library science. She originally 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.”
Looking to the future, Hunter 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.
One thing the Library is currently participating in is a program with seven other libraries in the area, KanShare, where they closely share collections. They also have chosen an area-wide book to read with themed programs. That book is Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Bradford’s portion will be a free ballroom dance class to go with their chosen story, Cinderella. Hunter said everyone is welcome to attend the class given by local pastor Mik King at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 at the Civic Center.
Other activities at the Library include a monthly book club for adults, as well as children’s library programming year-round.
Hunter is excited for what the future holds for the library.
“I think of the library as a place for people who are looking to find something,” she 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.”
For more information about the Library, please visit bradford.scklslibrary.info. To learn more about the new director, please check out the City’s November newsletter.