Saturday, December 16, 2017
Books

What's Susan Dillinger reading?

Nightstand

Susan Dillinger

Dillinger says she never expected to be running a city; however, for now, that's what this librarian is doing. On Oct. 9, the New Port Richey city council voted to make her interim city manager, filling a position that had been vacated by John Schneiger. He stepped down after admitting to the mayor that he felt he had lost support of the city council. Dillinger has been head of the city's library program since 1990.

What's on your nightstand?

I just finished the book For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places by Peter Kageyama. Librarians are all about building community and relationships and making connections. This book delves into how to make cities more lovable and enable our community members to make an emotional connection. When our members fall in love with our city we can do great things, which will impact our local economy, crime, wellness and social welfare. I heard Peter Kageyama speak a few weeks ago to librarians on his book and I found it inspiring. I am currently reading R. David Lankes' book, Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today's Complex World. This book, from what I read so far, encourages communities to expect more from their libraries than just books and media. Libraries should do more, especially in the areas of learning opportunities, economic development, etc. Here in New Port Richey, our library attendance this past fiscal year exceeded one half million for the first time. We generate traffic and potential shoppers to the downtown.

How long ago did you decide to become a librarian and, at that time, did you ever picture yourself as a city manager?

I started working in libraries when I was in college. I was 18. I was an education major with a minor in math but fell in love with the library. I decided then that I wanted to be a librarian. . . . I really never thought of being a city manager. I enjoy library work and am happy to help my city out. In my position I have attended city council meetings regularly for 22 years, so I understand how government works.

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer, can be reached at [email protected]

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