The Whitman County Commissioners recently appointed Ronda Penwell to the Whitman County Library Board of…
We can’t celebrate in person, but we wish Kristie well and a community celebration is planned for a later date. Read the article below, A Farewell Conversation with My Sister by Jess Walter, Kristie’s little brother, to get a glimpse of her 30+ year career with Whitman County Library.
For years, every time I published a novel I knew I was guaranteed at least one great review. My sister, Kristie Kirkpatrick, the outgoing Whitman County Library Director, would interview me and write a column in this space about her little brother’s newest book.
She was my first editor, too, at our family magazine, Reader’s Indigestion (circulation 3). Whether it’s securing a Gates grant or building a much-needed community center in Colfax, Kristie has always been matter-of-fact about her accomplishments, and quick to give others credit. So, with her retirement this month (at 38, if my math is correct) it gives me great pride to turn the tables and interview my brilliant sister:
Q: Do you remember your first day?
Kristie: The Rosalia branch manager in 1987. I was young and the librarian training me was a sweet grandma who had held the position for ten years. Then, the two previous Rosalia Librarians, also grandma-aged, joined us for a newspaper photo. Now, suddenly, thirty-three years have passed and I’m the sweet grandma training a smart, young replacement!
Q: What are your proudest achievements?
Kristie: I am truly amazed at all our little library system has accomplished. I’m probably proudest of the support our community has consistently shown. Over the years, they’ve approved every election measure, supported every library building project and The Center in Colfax, gave generously at our auctions and fundraisers, volunteered thousands of hours and sent notes of thanks and encouragement to our staff and to me. People in Whitman County value education and libraries and I am so proud to have been a part of that.