Celebrating 25 Years at CADL

Throughout the year, we’ve celebrated our 25th anniversary with special events, a limited-edition library card, a commemorative Readers Advisory booklet and more. Now it’s time to recognize the 11 outstanding staff members who’ve been with us since the beginning.

These staff members have impacted our organization through their dedicated work and service, and they’ve been pivotal characters in CADL’s story of growth, transformation and success. This article is dedicated to sharing portions of their stories, including favorite memories from the past 25 years and what’s kept them working at CADL. Read their stories below, and please join us in congratulating them on this monumental milestone! 

What is one memory that stands out to you?

Linda Bissell, Head of Acquisitions in the Technical Services Department

“When Sierra came into play around 2002, it made ordering easier even though we still had to type in each order one at a time, create a purchase order and send it via snail mail through the U.S. postal service… I think we went to online ordering around 2009/2010, and I sure am glad we did!”

Dee Brokaw, Library Page at CADL South Lansing

“We were quite busy that first day we were open as the new Capital Area District Library. It was a fresh start for all our patrons. There were no library fines and no limits on how many items patrons could check out. A lot of people came out that day to experience our new library system, and considering we’re still here after 25 years, I would say we have been successful at what we have done.”


Diane Speerbrecker, Library Clerk at CADL South Lansing

“We decorated the South Lansing library as Diagon Alley. Harry Potter craze was at its peak, and we recreated storefronts from cardboard cutouts and the kids could go to various locations and do crafts and have treats. Dressing up was encouraged!”


Tracey Worman, Library Clerk at CADL Haslett

"A little girl, a regular at Storytime, brought her grandma to Storytime for the first time. The little girl was showing grandma around, saying ‘this is where the picture books are, this is where we sit for storytime,’ and pointing to a table, she said ‘And this is the library ladies let us make some crap!’”


Mark Buzzitta, Community Engagement Specialist

“One of my favorite memories was a program I created in partnership with our local PBS station, ‘WKAR PBS KIDS DAY at the Library,’ where we invited ‘Mr. McFeely’ from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Throughout the day, we had over 3,000 people visit the library!”

What has kept you at CADL?

Harriet Chesley, Library Assistant at CADL Dansville

“I still enjoy working with all the patrons, students and parents that make up our Dansville Library community. It is the best job in the world!”



Deb Ketchum, Head of Circulation at CADL Downtown Lansing

“I stayed at the library because of the people. I have enjoyed getting to know the people who walk through our doors. I’ve had so many rewarding experiences helping someone get a library card or find a specific item or piece of information… I’ve learned a lot in the past 25 years, and I feel like I’m a better person because of the things I’ve gotten to experience doing this job.”


Rose Marshall, Library Assistant at CADL Stockbridge

"I stay because I love my job. I've worked on a dairy farm my whole life. That's work! Being at the library just isn't that kind of work. It's fun! I feel like every day at the library is like Christmas - Opening boxes to find new books, read, and share with patrons. I enjoy being able to recommend and I love it when they recommend books to me.”

What's the biggest change you've witnessed since starting at CADL?

Jim MacLean, Head of Community Partnerships

“We no longer have one internet station with dial-up.”

Zarada Larvie, Technical Services Clerk

“The biggest change I've seen is that we no longer just house books, music CDs and movies. We have evolved into lending items that can teach and help people learn with materials that they might not otherwise have access to.”


What inspired you to start working at CADL?

Jackie McDonald, Library Assistant at CADL Williamston

“I started working at CADL Williamston because I had small children and it worked out for me to work part-time. I had previously worked in a public library in high school and the MSU library while I was a student. I enjoy this job so much I've never left. The staff and patrons are wonderful out here in Williamston. I've made many lifelong friends.”