After heading the Rawlins Municipal Library for more than eight years and through a pandemic, Director Robin Schrupp is preparing to retire at the end of March.

The Rawlins Municipal Library Board hired Schrupp in August 2013 after spending nearly three decades with the Grant County Public Library in Milbank.

“We just thought this was a good change for us,” Schrupp said of her and her husband’s move from Milbank to Pierre. “Capital city, pretty impressive.”

Schrupp has an almost encyclopedic memory for the improvements that Rawlins has undergone in her time as director, both physical — such as the shade the protects the checkout desk from the sun — to those made on the shelves.

“We’ve done a lot of new programming for all age groups,” Schrupp said. “I think probably the renovation of the library was a huge accomplishment.”

The Missouri River Flood in 2011 put the library’s renovation was put on hold but got back on track soon after Schrupp took the director’s chair in September 2013.

What she’ll miss most, she said, is the camaraderie she was able to develop with library staff and patrons over the years.

“It’s a fun job to be able to provide things for people that they need for not just enjoyment but for research and education,” Schrupp said. “And the kids coming in for story time and everything, Ginny (Kaus) does a fabulous job with that. But it’s a community place and it’s kind of fun to be in charge of that.”

Schrupp started as a teacher in Minnesota before moving to South Dakota for her husband’s job. She started out part-time typing catalog cards. She moved up to working weekends and evenings to children’s librarian before the Grant County library director told her she wanted Schrupp to take over as director, prompting Schrupp to take library courses at Northern State University.

“She taught me everything she knew, so I got that job over there and I loved it,” Schrupp said about the Grant County library director. “It’s a fun job and it’s rewarding and it’s been a good time.”

As Schrupp prepares to retire, she hopes people realize just how important libraries are to communities.

“Sometimes when people move into a community, the first thing they check out is the school system and the library system,” Schrupp said. “And we want to provide the best library, especially being in the capital city, the best public library possible. And my staff is absolutely fabulous and they are so helpful to people and I want people to realize the importance of libraries and I hope that we accomplished that.”

In retirement, Schrupp and her husband hope to see their grandchildren more — geographically, she described them as “spread out.”

“We’d just like to do more family things,” Schrupp said.

Library Board Chair Amy Weller said Schrupp’s passion for libraries has helped her and her staff to keep Rawlins moving in a positive direction throughout her leadership.

“She’s been a great leader for the library when it came to all of our board activity,” Weller said.

Pierre Mayor Steve Harding echoed that, noting Schrupp’s 2014 Librarian of the Year Award given to her by the South Dakota Library Association.

“That’s really quite an honor for her to get,” Harding said. “And then since that time she’s just brought a lot of new energy to the library. You know, with social media nowadays, a lot of people think libraries don’t have a role anymore or not as big a role, and Robin’s really proven that to be wrong.”

Schrupp thanked the people of Pierre for their support of Rawlins and complimented the community for their hospitality.

“People in this community, they’re friendly, they’re very giving, this is just a really nice community to be in and it’s been a pleasure to serve them,” Schrupp said.

Michael Woodel | 605-224-7301 ext. 131

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