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Batavia library director values collaboration with community

Batavia Public Library Director George Scheetz, who has been the library's director since December 2004, is the library's eighth library director since 1882, and the second man to be in the position.

Scheetz, 60, who lives in Batavia, has two grown children, Trevor, 29, and Avery, 24.

Reporter Eric Schelkopf caught up with Scheetz and talked to him about being a library director and his love for books.

Why do you like being a library director?

I love being a librarian. I love the public library field because we're working with the whole community. I really like to develop collaborative relationships with other organizations and government agencies, like the Live Homework Help, which is co-sponsored by the Batavia Public Library and Batavia School District 101. We've gotten a lot of positive feedback for that.

I think it really is important for a library to be part of the fabric of the community, and to be active in the community. There are various ways that the library can be a presence in the community.

Can you remember the first book that you ever read?

It may have been "Yertle the Turtle," by Dr. Seuss. And I remember being given a book called "Rex Of The Coast Patrol." It was a story about a dog. Those are the two earliest books I remember. I've always been a reader.

What do you like about books?

In some sense, books awaken and challenge the imagination for me. I find that books teach me, whether it's fiction or non-fiction.

I think I gained a real appreciation for the English language by reading the Hardy Boys books, believe it or not. I think a lot of my vocabulary came from books like that, when I was growing up.

Books are an intellectual challenge and an escape for me. Sometimes I'll read just simply to escape and relax, like a good hard-boiled mystery or that kind of thing. I probably read more mysteries nowadays than anything else.

But, I think some people have the misimpression that we're kicking back and reading novels all day. And nothing could be further from the truth.The reading that we do at work is related to our work.

Do you have a favorite room in the library?
The room that I'm hardly ever in but I think I would enjoy being in when I'm not working is the fireplace room. That's our quiet reading room. There's just something very comforting about it. It's like a living room.

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