LORAIN — It’s come full circle for Terri M. Frederick, the Lorain Public Library System’s longtime public relations officer, who will retire come the end of the year.
“I went to Lorain High School and this was my home library,” Frederick, 57, said Tuesday. “I grew up here and it was like coming home when I went to work here.”
That was in 1989, following stints in public relations and marketing at Lorain County Community College, and as an advertising department employee for the Lorain Journal, where Frederick did photography work and wrote the newspaper’s business and industry page.
She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Kent State University.
In her 24 years with the library system, Frederick has witnessed major changes, not only in the physical make-up of the library, but in the ways it has adapted to keep up with changing tastes.
“We are always watchful, like any industry, and listen to the community to keep up with trends, and to try and re-invent ourselves to reflect what the community needs and wants,” Frederick said.
The years saw handsome new branch libraries built and opened in Avon, North Ridgeville and South Lorain, while smaller branches in Columbia and Sheffield Lake underwent extensive renovations.
The library’s main facility in downtown Lorain also underwent a $1 million refurbishment to expand space for its widening offerings of not only books, but audiotapes, DVDs, CDs and other media.
“I’ve always looked at the library as a community place,” Frederick said. “It’s not just books on the shelf. Now people are into e-books and lots of things they can download from our website, but it’s the staff, the human connection, that people need and value.”
Through it all, Lorain grappled with the double whammy of less state funding at the same time as demands for its expanding line of services grew.
While she hasn’t given too much thought to what she’ll do in retirement, Frederick wants to keep using her writing skills and take time to actually read some of the countless books she’s promoted over the years.
She also plans to do some volunteering — preferably something related to her Italian heritage.
“I love to feed people and hope to do things that involve food,” she said.
And then there will be time for visits to see her family, which includes daughter Janette, who lives in North Carolina with her husband and Frederick’s two grandchildren, and married son Kurt, who lives outside Indianapolis.
“I’ve always worked … so I think I will take a year to regroup first,” Frederick said.
A big Cleveland Indians fan, she plans to take in some daytime ballgames next season, and hopes for better things under new manager Terry Francona.
“I may even try ushering,” she added.
Asked if she fears for the end of books and the printed word in this increasingly digital age, Frederick said she tries not to get too hung up on the format, whether it’s e-books or traditional books.
“It’s more about that information always being available to us in some fashion,” she said.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.