Happy Retirement, Cary! Thanks for 15 Years of Service

Published Thursday, March 7, 2024

In her fifteen years of service Cary Harvengt has taken on every task that needed a champion, from community outreach to building management. Six years ago Cary started the annual Edwardsville Book Festival, which fills City Park, featuring 40-60 local authors, as well as local publishers and book sellers. She even kept the event going during the pandemic by producing it as an online event.
More than anything, Cary has been the heart of the Edwardsville Public Library. She has engendered the trust of everyone around her, and set a compassionate, service-oriented tone within the library. Her influence will resonate for years to come.
- Diana Sussman, Library Director

What has changed the most since you started working at the Library?

Originally, I was a Reference Librarian, then Assistant Director, and finally the Outreach & Development Librarian in more recent years. My evolution through these various positions really gave me the chance to understand so many aspects of what a library represents in a community -- a natural hub for information gathering, collaboration, and accessibility for all. When I started at the library people didn’t rely on their cell phones for all information like we do now. We made phone calls on our phones, and used our computers for heavier lifting. The ubiquitous use of cellphones has transformed how people manage their lives, and in turn, has transformed some of our services. And through it all, we still maintain thousands and thousands of lovely books!

365 Tao
What has kept you working at the library?

No question, my creative, caring, cool co-workers! And, having the opportunity to brighten someone’s day by giving them a positive experience in the library. I've also been fortunate enough to collaborate with many other wonderful folks who work locally: other public libraries, other City of Edwardsville departments, SIUE, the Edwardsville Art Center, to name a few. It is very heartening to know that so many talented, caring individuals are willing to work so well together to make our community a great place to live.

What services offered at the library do you wish more people knew about?

Digital downloads of e-books & e-audiobooks! Our super users know about (and love) our great digital platforms Hoopla and Libby, but many others don’t realize they can checkout and download an audiobook to their phones and listen in their car.

101 essays that will change the way you think
If you could have coffee with any author, who would you choose?

Stephen King

What’s an underrated book you think everyone should read?

Not underrated, but a bit off the radar in the 21st century: the poetry of T.S. Eliot . . . and 365 Tao: Daily Meditations, by Deng Ming-Dao.

Do you have a book character role model?

Not a role model, just a favorite of mine: Miss Marple. Agatha Christie mysteries are my book version of comfort food.

What is your favorite book that you’ve read in the past year?

101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think, by Brianna Wiest