Webber retiring, Slupe taking over as library director

Desiree Webber

Julie Slupe

The Mustang Public Library director is retiring after fifteen years.
Desiree Webber made the decision to retire with her husband more than a year ago. He has been retired for more than three years so she said she looks forward to joining him.
“A new chapter—I like to write so I’ll probably be writing full time, and we like to golf and take care of the grandkids,” Webber said.
Webber has two grandchildren who are 5 and 7 years old.
Webber’s last day at the library will be Sept. 8.
“It’s been a big part of my life,” Webber said. “I’ve worked in some kind of library since I was a junior in college. It’s a profession that I love and I’ve grown with all the technology changes because it’s changed a lot over the years. I’ll probably miss staying up on the new things, but I’ve really become part of the community so just getting to know a lot of people like the people who serve on the library board and the Friends of the Library—it’s been fun working with them and doing things like the Chocolate Festival.”
Julie Slupe, current youth services librarian, will be taking over as the library director on Aug. 14.
“I’m excited for her. I highly recommended her. I think she’ll do an excellent job,” Webber said of Slupe.
Slupe has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education and a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology, both from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Slupe worked for about eight months as the Front Desk Manager at the library in 2015. She then returned in March of this year to serve as the youth services librarian.
Before working at the library, Slupe worked as a media technology director at Mustang Trails Elementary for 11 years.
“She’s worked in both of those positions so she knows a lot about how the library operates in different departments,” Webber said.
Webber will continue to be there through her last day of Sept. 8 to train Slupe on anything she needs to be trained on. One area Slupe said she wants training on is managing the budget.
“[Slupe] has a master’s degree and several years of library experience. I’ve been making a list, but I will not have to show her much except the few particulars of my job. [Slupe] is an intelligent individual with a wonderful personality. She enjoys helping people and presenting successful classes which are both education and fun. She’s going to do a great job and I am very happy for her. This is a wonderful place to work,” Webber said of Slupe.
Slupe said she’s looking forward to serving at the library director.
“[Webber] has grown the Mustang Public Library exponentially the last 15 years. I am excited to see where the next 15 years and how we will continue to change and grow. The library has such great community support; which makes it a great place to work. I feel like I have found my home,” Slupe wrote in an email Friday.
*Slupe is on vacation and was only available to briefly comment through email. A full story on Slupe will be published in a future issue. 
Slupe will need to advertise for a new youth services director, but no timeline has been set for that hiring process yet, Webber said.
“This has been the highlight of my career coming here. I’ve worked in lots of different libraries—corporate libraries, academic libraries, The Pioneer Library system which is headquartered in Norman—but coming here was a lot of fun,” Webber said of her time in Mustang. “We built the library from 3,000 square feet to 13,000 square feet and now we’re 20,000 plus. Just growing the library from a small store front to serving a community with almost 19,000 people. Everybody has just been very support—coming to the fundraisers, helping with building the library, voting for the bond issue that expanded it—I’ve just really enjoyed the community support and the volunteers that came out to help, and just terrific people that have been on my board.
“It’s the people that you’ll miss.”

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