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New librarian takes the helm

Albuquerque transplant will also oversee Maidu Museum
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Natasha Casteel left her home in Albuquerque to join the City of Roseville’s ranks as new head librarian.

She will also supervise the Maidu Museum and Historic Site.

Casteel, 41, started the job Monday and is based out of the Downtown Roseville Library. She oversees the three local branches, 27 regular employees, about 40 temporary employees and a $3.5 million budget. She will earn an annual salary of $100,912.

“It’s been a whirlwind and I’m just starting to get settled in,” Casteel said Wednesday.

Casteel, a lover of nonfiction — although she names novels “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Shadow of the Wind” and “Smilla’s Sense of Snow” among her favorite books — also enjoys hiking, trail running and other outdoor activities.

She left a job as assistant director of Albuquerque’s public library system, which contains 17 branches, where she worked for five years.

“My husband and I were looking for a change and wanted to get out west,” she said. “I could just tell that Roseville values quality of life, and has excellent libraries and parks … it seems like a really good fit.”

The head librarian position had been vacant since February 2010, and is funded in the city’s 2011-12 fiscal year budget.

“We took some time to evaluate what we wanted the position to be, which led to the integration of the museum due to similarities in mission,” said Julie Sparkes, business services manager for the city’s Parks, Recreation and Libraries Department.

Casteel will be responsible for developing and administering the library and museum budget, creating and implementing strategic and technology plans, and fostering a culture of new ideas and innovation, Sparkes said.

She also will advocate for the library and involve the community through the Library Board, Friends of the Roseville Public Library, Roseville Library Foundation and other groups. She will lead efforts to indentify funding sources, including grant and fundraising opportunities.

Hiring the new librarian is part of the city’s goals to revive its library system. The 2011-12 fiscal year budget, approved Wednesday by the Roseville City Council, includes funding to reopen the Maidu Library on Saturdays. The branch closed on that day as a result of cuts made in last year’s budget. The spending plan also includes more money for materials.

Casteel said it will be important for Roseville’s libraries to have the flexibility to change as the community changes, especially as the city continues to grow.

“We need to be really dialed into the needs of residents,” she said.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.

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Roseville Library summer reading

Clubs: One World, Many Stories: Ages 0 to 12. You Are Here: Ages 12 to 18. Novel Destinations: Ages 18 and older.

How to: Pick up a reading passport from the library or download one from the website. Read every day for four weeks, for at least 20 minutes a day, and fill in a box for each day. Or, choose one of the listed creative activities on the passport and fill in a box after you’ve done it. Each activity counts for one day. Youth passports require a parent’s signature. Youth and teens come into the library after they’ve read for four weeks to obtain their prizes. Adult passports are entered into a raffle for prizes.

Locations: Downtown Roseville Library, 225 Taylor St., Maidu Library, 1530 Maidu Dr. and Martha Riley Community Library, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd.

Info: Call (916) 774-5221. For a complete schedule of summer reading events, visit www.roseville.ca.us/library.