When Carol Kiecksee was in high school, she took a temporary job at the local library.
Forty-five years later, she still works there part-time.
Kiecksee, 62, is the Saturday librarian assistant at the Moody County Resource Center, where from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., she checks books in and out, puts them away, fixes damaged books and helps with all the typical duties of helping readers find what they’re looking for. The job requires the latest in technology and computer skills and is a far cry from the first task she worked on when she was hired.
Her country-school teacher, Jeanette Hofkamp, had moved to the county librarian job after the school closed. The library interested Kiecksee, and Hofkamp hired her temporarily to improve the card catalog in June 1975, before her senior year at Flandreau High School.
“I was hired for so many weeks,” she said, and she got as far as she could get on the project. Hofkamp found another program that would pay Kiecksee, and they agreed on more weeks of work.
“I got to work some more time then to continue on with the card catalog,” she said. She also started learning the process of checking books in and out and re-shelving them. When Hofkamp needed to be gone, she paid Kiecksee to work.
“I worked three hours for $3 an hour. I got a lot of $9 checks,” she said. Eventually, Moody County hired her to continue at the library, which was located downtown near the Crystal Theatre.
She enjoys helping people research answers to questions and doesn’t easily give up in a search for information, figuring she will learn something, too. “If they really want something, I try my best (to find it),” she said.
As a young person, her parents took her to the library and she read in summer reading programs, she said. These days, she reads to keep up with current events and has a running list of books that she would like to read when she can find the time.
In addition to working at the county library -- which is in the school and used by students and the public -- Kiecksee also works at Flandreau Elementary School’s library and helps with the school lunch program.
Librarian Erica Rorvik said Kiecksee is a hard worker who is willing to do whatever is asked. “She’s been here a long time, so she loves the library. She wants the best for the library. She really cares about our patrons and being there for them.”
Because the coronavirus prevents having a party to celebrate Kiecksee’s 45 years of service, Rorvik is asking patrons to send a card to the library by Dec. 1. The cards can be sent to Kiecksee at the Moody County Resource Center at 610 W. Community Dr., Flandreau, SD 57028. Cards also can be dropped off in the book return box.
For now, Kiecksee plans on continuing her work, which she enjoys because of the variety and the patrons.
“I still like working at the library,” she said. “Meeting different people through the years has been interesting and nice.”