Meet Your OPL Staff

We launched Meet Your OPL Staff to celebrate National Library Week, a time to highlight the value of libraries, librarians, and library staff. The theme for April 14-20, 2013, was "Communities Matter @your library®." To get to know your dedicated OPL staff, read on! Look for another staff feature each week.

Bonnie Krueger, Reference/Cataloging Librarian (Featured the week of May 5, 2013)

Contact Bonnie for:
Reference and informational questions in Adult Services, Books-to-Go, ordering print materials for Adult Services

B.A. in English, UW-Madison
M.A. in Library & Information Studies, UW-Madison

Bonnie started at the Marathon County Public Library in Wausau, WI, as head of bookmobile services.

Bonnie’s next move was to OPL on May 9, 1983. She celebrates 30 years with OPL this week! Her first project was to move all existing collection and patron records into the brand-new online database. OPL was the first library in the region to automate and went live shortly after Labor Day in 1983. Bonnie has been in Adult Services as a Reference/Cataloging Librarian ever since.

Worked at OPL since:  1983

Community Involvement and/or Fun Facts:
Bonnie has actively served on numerous committees for the Selco regional public library system over the years.

Bonnie is a long-time member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where she has also served in many roles (Sunday School teacher, member of various commissions).

When her sons were young, Bonnie spent six years as a Den & Pack Leader for Washington Cub Scouts.

Bonnie is a member of Women’s Club of Owatonna. She and her husband are supporters of LTO and can be seen in attendance at most Owatonna community events. As hobbies, Bonnie loves jigsaw puzzles and Sudoku, and she crochets prayer shawls.

Favorite part of her job:
Variety! Bonnie loves the variety of questions, the variety of people, and the fact that no two days at OPL are ever the same.

Bonnie added that she is very proud of the long tradition of library excellence in Owatonna. “I take pride in the OPL facility, the quality people I work with, as well as all of our customers who utilize our services.”

Meet another OPL staff member next week!

Mary Gontarek, Media Services/Reference Librarian (Featured the week of April 28, 2013)

Contact Mary for:
Mary G. retired in January, 2016, after 42+ years of answering reference and informational questions; especially questions about movies, music, and audiobooks!

B.A. in Art Education, Mankato State
M.S. in Library Science, University of Minnesota

Mary spent all of her professional career as a librarian at Owatonna Public Library.

Worked at OPL:  1973-2016

Community Involvement and/or Fun Facts:
Mary is on the LTO Board and has done costumes for many plays over the years. She is in her second year as a Leadership Owatonna Day Leader for Arts & Diversity Day.

Mary has twice completed RAGBRAI® (The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). Mary loves gardening, and a short-term project is to get her yard and garden in shape after our delayed spring. A long-term project is her continued work renovating a 100+-year-old farmhouse.

Favorite part of her job:
Mary is passionate about films! She loves keeping up with current movies and helping people find just the right one. Mary also finds her coworkers delightful and says, “If I didn’t love the job, I wouldn’t have been here this long!”

Meet another OPL staff member next week!

Dave Lubahn, Circulation Assistant (Featured the week of April 21, 2013)

Contact Dave for:
Interlibrary-loans, genealogy, book clubs, and of course to check out library materials!

Winona State, B.S. in Business Administration
Rochester Vo-Tech, Horticulture

Dave’s first job was at the Rochester Public Library as a Page (shelver). When he started working at OPL he was in Children’s Services for about a year before moving upstairs to Adult Services.

Worked at OPL since: 1987

Community Involvement and/or Interesting Facts:
Dave has acted in many LTO plays. At times he has also lent his acting talents to Trinity Lutheran Church where he is a member. 

Dave lists gardening as a passion, and he specializes in prairie plants native to Minnesota. Dave is also a weaver and his creations are often found at the annual Owatonna Arts Center Pastimes sale in November.

Favorite part of his job:
The people! Dave also enjoys having a variety of responsibilities at OPL.

Meet another OPL staff member next week!

Darla Lager, Children's Librarian (Featured the week of April 14, 2013)

Contact Darla for:
Arranging class visits to OPL Children’s Services, finding children’s materials, requests for presentations on children’s materials and resources.

B.S., Winona State, in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education
M.A., UW-Madison, in Library & Information Studies

Professional Experience:
Children’s Librarian/Assistant Director, Fremont Area District Library (Michigan), 1994-2004
OPL Children’s Librarian, 2004 to date

Worked at OPL since:  2004

Fun Facts:
Darla is originally from Caledonia, Minnesota, and she is the 7th of 8 siblings. She and her brothers and sisters all have names that begin with the letter “D.”

When Darla was in high school she wrote a paper about Mickey Mouse. She has been collecting Mickey Mouse ever since and has hundreds in her collection.

Favorite part of her job:
Interacting with the kids who visit OPL! After-school and storytimes are her favorite.

Meet another OPL staff member next week!