By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – After more than 50 years with the Dearborn Public Libraries, Director Maryanne Bartles retired Aug. 12, following a career that began as a library clerk and spanned half a century.
Bartles said that while her retirement is bittersweet, she knows she is leaving the department in capable hands.
“The tremendous staff live and breathe the mission of the Library – to provide for the educational, informational and recreational needs of the community,” she said. “For years, I’ve seen the Library grow and change.”
Bartles said the library is more than a book and media warehouse available for checkout.
“The library has become a vibrant community space,” she said. “The library provides study space, public computers with internet access, free Wi-Fi, resume and job search assistance, homework help, and programs for adults, children and teens.”
Bartles said the Library also provides “amazing” online products, including e-books, e-audio, streaming music and videos.
“I know, without a doubt, that the Dearborn Library staff will strive to make sure the Library continues to grow and change and meet the needs of all the citizens of Dearborn.”
Bartles’ daughter, Sara Stratilatov, said her mother oversaw massive Library renovations, including the creation of a magical children’s area in 2008, which was funded by a grant, and extensive renovations in 2019 to the main branch.
“She acted as a steward of the libraries during the 2008 recession, constantly striving to keep services meeting the needs of the community and changes with the world,” she said. “She was a fierce advocate of the mission, vision and values of public libraries and their role in the community.”
Stratilatov said her mother was dedicated to the public good and took her role and responsibilities seriously.
“I am proud of her and excited for her to get a much-deserved new chapter of her life, filled with painting, reading, researching and gardening,” she said. “You go, mom!”
Julie Schaefer, deputy library director, has been named the interim director while the search for the new director gets under way.