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Fields earns distinguished service award for library

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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2012 8:00 am

Richfield City’s library director is scheduled to receive a state recognition for the work she has performed during the past 18 years.

Linda Fields has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Utah Library Association’s distinguished service award. The award is to be presented at the ULA’s 100th anniversary convention in Salt Lake City April 27.

“She was one of four or five nominees who were extremely well-qualified for the award,” said Michael Whitchurch, ULA awards committee. He said one of the things that made Fields stick out was the work she has done in pursuing upgrades to the library building.

“She was turned down for a new library, but she worked with local government and got great support from the community for building upgrades,” Whitchurch said. “It’s a remarkable transformation … it seems like a happier place.”

Fields, in addition to being Richfield’s library director, has served on ULA committees and has mentored other librarians, including those in Ephraim in Beaver.

Since 1998, circulation at the Richfield Public Library has increased from approximately 45,600 to more than 60,000 volumes each year.

Fields has secured more than $200,000 of grant money for the library during her tenure, much of which has been used in remodeling projects. In 2007-08, both the upstairs and downstairs of the building were overhauled. In 2009, the roof was replaced, followed in 2010 by a replacement of the exterior’s brick grouting. New stairs and handicap access have been included during the various remodel projects.

Fields’ time at the library is drawing to a close. She announced her intention to retire earlier this year, and her last official day is scheduled for May 25.

“I’ll really miss the people and the interaction with the public,” Fields said. “I’ll also miss ordering the books.”

Fields said libraries were an important part of her life, especially in her college years. She said libraries provided her with entertainment, personal enrichment and even helped her earn a master’s degree.

She said she has enjoyed working with the city government, and seeing the improvements in circulation.

“My library card will still be number one,” Fields said. She said a few years ago when the library reorganized the library cards, hers was renumbered as one.

While she is leaving the library as its director, she intends to stay involved as a member of the Friends of the Library organization. She is also working on a book detailing the 100-year history of Richfield’s library, and a second book about the history of the Sevier River.

Fields and her husband, Jim, reside in Annabella. They have one son and two grandchildren.

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