Librarian Melody Kellogg has officially started her tenure as the Stillwater Public Library’s new director. Kellogg, formerly of the Metropolitan Library System (MLS), was hired to fill the vacancy left when Lynda Reynolds moved out of state after serving 17 years as director.
According to Kellogg, getting acquainted with the community is her priority.
“I’m most looking forward to meeting the people in Stillwater,” Kellogg said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know them and to understanding their needs, and then working with our staff to meet those needs in the best way we can.”
Reynolds believes Stillwater has found a gifted successor.
“I was thrilled when I heard Melody had been hired as the director for the Stillwater Public Library,” Reynolds said. “Melody and I became acquainted while working together on the Public Library Directors Council and in the Oklahoma Library Association (OLA). During her term as OLA President, she challenged all of us to reach our greatest potential as library professionals. I know that she will be reaching out to do the best for the Stillwater community and will do well in this next chapter of her career.”
Her many years of experience were appealing to members of the library board, as well as her enthusiasm for the position.
“I am very pleased to welcome Melody as our new library director, and she is really excited about the job,” said Robin Cornwell, library board president. “Melody has the knowledge and breadth of experience to ensure the Stillwater Public Library maintains the level of excellence in programming and customer service that’s so appreciated by our community.”
Kellogg lives on a farm outside Guthrie with her husband Randy. The farm has been in the family for four generations and is where she raised her two sons Michael and Elias.
But Kellogg is no stranger to Stillwater. She and her family have many ties to the community.
“My youngest son recently graduated from Oklahoma State University, and Randy currently serves on Meridian Technology Center’s Board of Education,” she said.
Stillwater is also where Kellogg got her higher education and career starts.
“I started college at OSU, before finishing my degree in business administration at what was then Central State University,” Kellogg said. “My first full time job was also here in Stillwater with the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.”
Kellogg went on to work nearly 14 years as the assistant director, then director, of the Department of Commerce’s Oklahoma Main Street Program where she honed her skills at developing partnerships with government and nonprofit organizations.
During her time with the Main Street program, Kellogg also earned her MBA, and then joined the City of Guthrie as a Special Projects Coordinator performing extensive grant writing and planning coordination. It was this position that led to the start of her library career.
“In 2002, the city management asked me to become the director at the Guthrie Public Library with the understanding that I would concurrently attain a Masters in Library and Information Sciences,” Kellogg said. “It was a challenge I was eager to take.”
She completed her degree through the University of Oklahoma in 2004 and served three more years at the Guthrie library. From there, Kellogg was named the Guthrie City Manager, and then joined a church ministry before going to MLS, which serves Oklahoma County residents. She was first hired to manage the Edmond branch, and then was promoted to Regional Director where she oversaw three of the system’s branches and the department for system-wide programming.
After 30 years, Kellogg considers herself fortunate to find herself back in Stillwater where her career started.
“Stillwater Public Library has an incredible statewide reputation,” she said. “I already had a great position, but working for the City of Stillwater appealed to me even more. This job was just one of two in the state that I was willing to leave MLS to pursue.
“It has great support, a great staff and a variety of events and services that is truly impressive. I wanted to be a part of it.”
And what are Kellogg’s plans for the future of Stillwater Public Library?
“My goal is to continue the good work being done here,” she said. “Lynda did an amazing job of transforming the library into a core community hub, and my challenge will be to sustain that success.
“Libraries are always evolving. In two or three years, this library may look different than it does now, but that is what a healthy library does; it changes to meet the needs of its community.”
For information about Stillwater Public Library programs, materials and services, visit its web site at http://library.stillwater.org. The library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.