Kathy Tretter has been selected to receive the Indiana Library Federation (ILF) 2019 Outstanding Trustee Award. The ILF Outstanding Trustee Award honors and recognizes a public library board member for constructive accomplishments toward developing sound library policies and effective service, serving as a liaison between the library and the community, and advancing library service on a community, regional, or statewide level.
Tretter currently serves as president of the Dubois County Contractual Public Library Board of Trustees. By day, and often by night and weekends too, she is the editor and publisher of the Ferdinand News and Spencer County Leader.
Tretter was initially appointed to complete the term of Sr. Mary Dominic Frederick, OSB, who was disheartened when the board voted to discontinue bookmobile service. The Dubois County Commissioners wanted to appoint someone who, to put it bluntly, was not shy, which is a word no one has ever used to describe Tretter. After those two years and with her first “appointment,” she was voted in as president, a position she has held ever since. Her last meeting will be held in December when term limits prevent her from remaining on the board.
During her tenure on the library board, Tretter advocated to revise laws for contractual libraries so they could bond, lease, and borrow. Tretter provided leadership with town and county councils for fiscal approval to build and acquire library and satellite branches in Ferdinand, Birdseye and Dubois. Tretter had the vision to ensure students and patrons would have internet access through these branches, because rural Dubois County is underserved when it comes to fiber optic and high-speed internet.
Tretter serves in leadership in many organizations, including president of the Spencer County Regional Chamber of Commerce and past president and long-time board member of Crisis Connection, an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Her husband worked at the desk next to hers for 25 years, until his retirement, and now spends most of his free time with their three children, their children’s spouses, and five grandchildren.
When Kathy’s time on the board is complete at the end of 2019, library director Christine Golden says, “It is going to be an adjustment for our library board. Kathy has always been the one “mainstay” of a board that has seen a transformation in the past 5+ years. She has served over twice as many years as any other board member, and that level of expertise and experience has been invaluable to the staff and other board members.”
Indiana Library Federation is the statewide nonprofit association for academic, public, school and special libraries and the staff and volunteers who support them. Indiana Library Federation, the state chapter of American Library Association, provides professional development, awards, programs, member services and advocacy.