The Graceville and Ortonville libraries would like you to help us welcome our new county librarian, Michelle Botker. We are very happy to have her be a part of our library community.
I would like to share a little information about Michelle; her childhood, the first time she found her love for reading, the types of books she likes to read, her education, and her family life.
As a child, Michelle hated reading and doesn’t recall that reading was much of a priority in her home growing up. Book reports from school, (that were selections that she didn’t enjoy), where her first memories of reading. It was her Aunt, who was an avid reader, that gave her the first Harry Potter book. She thought she would enjoy it and at that moment, Michelle remembers falling in love with reading. It was the biggest book she ever attempted to read but she was determined. She was so drawn into the story that she found it difficult to put the book down.
Today, Michelle doesn’t claim to have a favorite book, but her favorite genre is Sci-fi/Fantasy. She loves a good mystery also but has to be in the right frame of mind to read them.
Michelle’s undergrad was focused on Early Childhood Education and Child Development. Early literacy became a passion for her also when she realized what the benefits of reading at an early age can be. Like many families, her childhood had drama and trauma and reading was the most therapeutic exercise she utilized as a young adult. Through those experiences, she realized she wanted to encourage other children and families to see the value of being lifelong readers.
Michelle is a past employee of Pioneerland and had worked at Ortonville library part-time. She loved working with the patrons and discussing books and authors. She found a sense of belonging there. The former head librarian encouraged her to get her Masters degree in Library Science, and she did! She graduated in 2014 with a Masters in Library and Information Science.
She and her husband, Dr. Grant Botker, met in her hometown in southern Oregon while he was doing his residency. They married in June 2014, on the weekend he graduated and left the next day to head to his home state of Minnesota. Grant grew up in Clinton where his parents still reside. Michelle was excited to have the opportunity to live in a smaller community. The ‘small town feeling’ of knowing almost all your neighbors and/or community means a lot to her. She and Grant look forward to having a family someday, but in the meantime, their 3 very spoiled pups keep them happy and on their toes. When Grant has the chance to pull Michelle away from a book, they play board games, and on weekends when Grant isn’t working, you can find them playing more board games or together with their friends.
She is hopeful with this new position that she can build a good relationship with all of our patrons so that she may provide the best options for the needs and interests of the community.