By Chris Eversole
Julie Slupe was working at the Mustang Library before becoming its director in August, and she has 11 years of experience as a media specialist at Mustang Trails Elementary School, She now sees Mustang from a new vantage point.
“I go to a lot more meetings, both within city government and within the community,” she said. “I love being the bridge to the library.”
Slupe replaced Desiree Webber, who retired as library director.
“I am not making any major changes at this time,” Slupe said. “We have a well-oiled machine.”
She’s filled her former position, youth services librarian, with Nicole Valencia, who previously worked at the Mabel C. Fry Public Library in Yukon.
One of the strengths of the Mustang Library is the support of volunteers and community groups, Slupe said.
The Friends of Mustang Library, headed by Brett Jones, helps out by raising money and volunteering. They are presently planning a dinner theater fundraiser for December 1 in conjunction with Emily Farnham, Mustang Public High School’s drama teacher.
In recent years, the Friends have purchased a self-checkout kiosk, bought books, provided prizes for programs and sponsored programs.
The Key Club at the high school helped in the Mustang Friends of the Library book sale held in September. The sale raised $1,700 for improvements at the library.
The library serves all ages, including babies, toddlers, elementary students, tweens, teens and adults. “I love being a part of it all,” Slupe said.
She’s spreading the word that today’s library is much more than a collection of books and periodicals.
In addition to DVDs and CDs, it offers online access to audiobooks, eBooks, music and videos on OverDrive. Anyone with a library card can borrow them instantly, for free, by downloading an app onto his or her cellphone or computer.
Slupe holds a bachelor’s in English Education and a master’s in Instructional Technology, both from the University of Central Oklahoma.
“I grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and my mom still lives there,” Slupe said. “When she visits me, she is in awe of what we have here at the library and the rest of the Town Center.”