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Farmington library manager will move on to Hastings

Farmington library manager Mary Scheide has been in the city since 2008. She will take over next week as library manager at Hastings' Pleasant Hill Library.

A petting zoo was set up in the parking lot of the Dakota County Library in Farmington on Mary Scheide's first day as the library's branch manager back in 2008. By the end of her first week, she was photographed holding an albino python.

Since then, she's made many similar fun memories at work. But Scheide fun in Farmington comes to an end this week. She's saying goodbye and heading to her new position as branch manager for the Pleasant Hill Library in Hastings.

It's a lateral move for Scheide, who worked at the Dakota County Government Center prior to being hired as branch manager in Farmington. As much as she enjoys being in Farmington, it's a long drive from her home in River Falls, Wis., and that drive ultimately affected her decision to make the move.

"It hasn't been a difficult commute," she said, "just a long one."

The commute takes nearly an hour each way. She'd been fortunate to not have any problems with weather -- at least, up until March 18 when she wound up in the ditch on her way home.

At first, relocating to Hastings seemed like an easy decision to make. But when it came right down to it, the decision was harder than she expected.

"I really love this library. The staff and the customers and the community have just been wonderful. I really had to think long term. It was a tough decision," she said, "but I really had to think of what's best long-term."

Pleasant Hill has a higher circulation than Farmington, and the staff is a little larger, she said. She's not sure whether she'll be out on the floor as much as she has been in Farmington, but Scheide is still looking forward to the change of pace coming her way.

Scheide leaves Farmington this Friday, and takes up her new post on Monday, April 1. She'll replace Pleasant Hill branch manager Allan Cotter, who is retiring at the end of the week. In preparation for her move, Scheide has met with Cotter several times over the past few weeks. She also has an advantage in that she has worked with some of the Hastings staff over the years.

"There are some familiar faces there. Just like Farmington, a number of the staff have worked there for many years, so that will be helpful," she said.

Scheide is leaving the Farmington Library just a few months before it is scheduled to undergo a complete interior renovation. Andrew Cook will fill in as acting manager when Scheide leaves, but only until a new branch manager is hired. The position has been posted by Dakota County.

Scheide doesn't expect Farmington's service to change at all, regardless of any staff or structural changes.

"This staff is so competent, things will just keep rolling along and they won't miss a beat," Scheide said.

Scheide is thankful to have received such a warm welcome in Farmington. She knows she will miss the customers, the connections she's made, and the Farmington staff.

"I really could not have asked for a better place to land in the Dakota County Library system," she said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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