At the Library 8/31/23

At the Library
by Alison Greiner, Washington Public Library


This is my first opportunity to be able to write an article for the “At The Library” section and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to share my thoughts of the first four months I have spent here at the library.

For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Alison (Fish) Greiner. I started working as a Family Service and Children’s Librarian here at the library in April. I was born and raised in Washington. My parents are Jack and Mary Carol Fish. After graduation, I went on to attend the University of Iowa where I majored in Music Education. I have been married for 21 years this August to Andy Greiner of Kalona. We have three children, Josie (19), Jack (17) and Ruby (11).

Before working at the library, I taught music at various districts in Iowa. My most recent teaching job was at Weber Elementary in Iowa City. In 2020, the pandemic gave the opportunity to work a side business from home. I decided to continue this work instead of going back to teaching. I also worked as a substitute teacher at Mid-Prairie, part time at Jaz It Up in Washington and also worked as the Youth Director at the United Methodist Church in Washington. While I enjoyed all of these jobs, I felt the need to streamline my work and find something that was full time. I was looking for something that would incorporate all of the skills I had acquired with the various jobs I had worked over the years.

I saw the library position was open and decided to apply. I am glad I took the leap because it has led to a wonderful place to spend my days. If you are reading this, I am sure you know how wonderful our library truly is. When you walk into the building, one cannot help but be taken in by the beauty of the space. Huge windows, wide open areas with comfy places to read or study, and even a grand piano reassure you that this will be a relaxing visit. The staff are kind, helpful and welcoming. They go out of their way to make sure you will get the help and assistance you need. I see them caring for our community members in so many ways, letting each person know they are important. The library is often a place of comfort and a chance to be social for many. I enjoy the many familiar faces I see each day. It is such a good feeling to see the community reading and participating in programs of interest.

Our director, Cary Ann Sigfried, has vast experience at other larger libraries in bigger cities and her forward and innovative ideas continue to move our library in a positive direction. I appreciate how she challenges us to continue to find ways to improve and think of new ways the library is able to serve our community. We are excited to start the construction of the new makerspace in the basement. The creativity in Washington is flowing and this will be an amazing addition.

Thank you for welcoming me to our library! I have always loved reading, writing, poetry, music and the opportunity to teach children. I enjoy working with our talented staff and helping our patrons. Who knew I would be able to check off so many boxes in one place? Make sure you come back soon if it has been awhile. Maybe you haven’t been in at all and would like a tour? I am sure you will be able to agree that our library is a very special place that you will love just like I do.