Erick Plumb always loved libraries as a kid, so when he finished his bachelor’s degree in history and creative writing, he set out to pursue a master’s degree in that field.
The Waunakee Public Library Director gave his classification talk at the Aug. 3 Waunakee Rotary meeting. Erick grew up in the Twin Cities, just north of St. Paul, and attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he met his wife, Hillary.
Afterwards, he attended Indiana University in Bloomington while Hillary worked as a pharmacy technician. When he was ready to start his career, he applied to libraries nationwide and found a job in Staunton, Virginia.
After 14 months, it was time for Hillary to attend pharmacy school. Plumb found a job at the Monona Public Library while Hillary attended UW-Madison. He said the city of 10,000 people turned out to be a great place for him to restart his career.
When the library director there had a brain aneurysm, Plumb was named interim director. He became director in 2010.
With Hillary done with school, the couple started a family. Nathaniel was born in 2011, followed by his brother Benjamin’s dramatic entrance in 2013. Erick said the couple thought they could reach the birthing center from the Meriter Hospital parking garage, but Benjamin had other ideas and he was born there. His younger brother, Sam, was born in 2015.
“My job is where I come for peace and quiet,” Plumb said.
Hillary works nights and weekends, so he is somewhat of a single dad.
After being in Monona for the last 10 years and serving as director for six, Erick saw the job opening in Waunakee. He knew little about the Waunakee library, he said, because it was less active with other libraries within the South Central Library System.
After he interviewed with the library board, member “Jean Elvekrog bullied me into taking the job,” he said.
Erick started in November and was surprised by how unique the community is, he said.
He made a deal with his library staff that whether or not a new library building would be forthcoming, the operation would expand. He got staff thinking about collaborating with other community facilities.
A new outreach coordinator will start at the library on Monday, he said.
Erick called this “an exciting time in libraries,” stressing the need for a physical location.
At one time, libraries just held information in books. But now information is found in technology, classes and programs, as well.

The members gave the following reports for club assembly:
•President Jim Kattner thanked Phil Willems for 10 years of organizing the WaunaFest food booth. Jim will take this over.
•Phil said sales were down about 10 percent from last year’s. The booth could use more workers. He estimated sales at $6,600 but said the profit has not been finalized.
•Scott Biba said the exchange student has arrived.
•Membership will have a Sunrise meeting in August. Allison Feldbruegge said plans for a monthly after hours meeting is in the works to draw younger members.
•SOAR Kenya will get its grant from the district. Jim reminded the club that clubs are only eligible for district grants if they provide an average of $100 per member annually to the foundation.
Other News:
•Lori Derauf said the Waunakee Professional Women’s Group will offer a self defense class for women. Visit the website,
Guests: Liz Diehs, guest of Allison Feldbruegge.
Visiting Rotarians: None.  
Birthdays: Aug. 11, Corey Randl; Aug. 12, Scott Cochems; Aug. 13, Kathy Cefalu; Aug. 13, Brent Ziegler; Aug. 14, William Erickson.
Anniversaries: Aug. 10, Bob and Nancy Arntz; Aug. 10, Erick and Hillary Plumb; Aug. 13, Danny and Yvonne Paul; Aug. 14, Randy and Amy Guttenberg; Aug. 16, Kevin and Kathy Kearney.
Greeters: Aug. 10. Randy Guttenberg and Rich Harris; Aug. 17, Travis Heiser and Randy Herbrand; Aug. 24, Don Hoffman and Mick Holm.