She’d almost forgotten she applied for the job.
When she was in high school, Teresa Heidenreich applied for a job at the library at her grandmother’s urging. She was 16 and needed a part-time job. She was surprised when they called back and offered it to her.
Now, two decades later, she’s running the library.
Heidenreich became the director of the Washington Carnegie Public Library on Jan. 1 this year. The library’s board of trustees voted to hire her in September. The long-time director, Elizabeth Dowling, is semi-retired.
Heidenreich, 39, has worked almost continuously at the library since she was in high school, when she started as a student worker. She then attended Vincennes University, earning an associate’s degree in accounting. She worked in the accounting field for a year and said she wasn’t happy with it.
When a bookkeeping position opened at the library, Fay Willis, the library director at the time, contacted Heidenreich to offer her the job. Heidenreich did the bookkeeping on Saturdays in addition to her full-time accounting job. Then, another job opened up at the library. Willis combined that with the bookkeeping job to form one job and gave it to Heidenreich, who has been working at the library full-time since 1993.
“I’ve had every job we’ve had here,” Heidenreich said, “from clerk to adult services librarian to director.”
To achieve her goal of becoming library director, she had to earn her master’s degree in library science. She needed a bachelor’s degree first. She earned one in human resources from Oakland City University, taking night classes.
Susan Sullivan, an instructor at OCU, said Heidenreich was a very focused student who wanted everyone in her class to succeed.
“She loved a challenge and finding ways to overcome any hurdles,” Sullivan said. “I know she will do a wonderful job in her new position because she has a genuine concern for the individual."
She’d almost forgotten she applied for the job.
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