Ann Fritscher always enjoyed working in her school libraries in her youth, so it came as no surprise that her first paid job was working at the old South Omaha Library on 23rd & M Streets during high school. After graduating from Central High School in 1970, Fritscher began working full-time as a circulation clerk at the former Main Library on 19th & Harney Streets. Though she moved on from the library to explore some other career paths, she found herself back at OPL in 1997, when she was hired to work as a clerk in the Cataloging Department labeling books. She helped to process new items, paid invoices for book orders, and more.
As the workflow changed over the years, Fritscher moved to the Collection Development Department, assisting with whatever was needed.
“Ann has been willing to take on some tasks, such as cleaning returned materials or inventorying various collections that many others don’t want to do,” said Fritscher’s supervisor Deirdre Routt, OPL’s collection development manager. “She not only does those tasks but she makes sure that they are done well”
“I volunteered to do so many different things,” Fritscher said. “It needed to be done, so why not me? It was fun!”
Fritscher’s favorite part of her job was contacting patrons whose holds were canceled because the library was unable to get the item requested. “I thought about how I would feel if I were getting that message when I wrote the letters,” said Fritscher. “I liked trying to find the right words to be truthful, yet polite.”
After nearly 24 years of service to OPL, Fritscher retired from OPL on March 1, 2021. Though she will miss being around books every day, she has many ambitious plans for her retirement including continuing her volunteer work with individuals in hospice, working for causes to end the inhumane treatment of animals, and learning to use the digital camera she received from her brother.
“Ann is someone who does not seek the limelight, she would rather shine the spotlight on others, said Routt. “Her work in the library has been behind the scenes, but she has been important to the overall success of OPL over the years.”
Thank you, Ann, for everything you’ve done for OPL and the community it serves, and congratulations on your retirement!