Who's Who of Professional Women


Lucy Selander

Retired, Lucy Mae Svang Selander, who holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in sociology and library science, enjoyed more than 40 years of professional excellence as a children’s librarian. From 2010 until her retirement in 2017, she served the Hennepin County Library, Oxboro Branch, in Minnesota as a youth services librarian working with small children through teenagers. Among her extensive accomplishments, she considers her greatest achievement as encouraging children of all ages to read.

Ms. Selander’s library background goes back to the days of her own youth, as her mother, Marion Svang, instilled in her a love of reading from a very young age. Ms. Selander fondly remembers summers spent by the lake with her twin sister listening to their mother, who worked as a schoolteacher, read books to them and often included some neighborhood children. This early love of books blossomed into Ms. Selander’s sole ambition to work as a professional librarian.

Prior to her role at Hennepin County Library’s Oxboro Branch, Ms. Selander worked as a librarian assistant in the children’s sections at both the East Lake and Roosevelt branches. For more than 25 years, she gained invaluable experience as a librarian assistant with the Minneapolis Public Library’s Nokomis Branch, working in the children’s section from 1982 to 2009. Beforehand, from 1973 to 1982, she was a librarian assistant in the Minneapolis Public Library’s Roosevelt Branch. Beginning her career in 1965 as a part-time librarian aide, Ms. Selander transitioned to the history department with the East Lake Branch of the Minneapolis Public Library in 1969 and later worked in the branch’s adult section until 1973. Laying a solid foundation for what would become a storied career, she enrolled in the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, one of the nation’s leading public research universities, and earned her BA in 1969. Continually committed to her professional growth and development, Ms. Selander completed further postgraduate coursework at the institution in 1970.

Devoted to her field even in retirement, Ms. Selander is a member of multiple professional organizations related to library sciences. She maintains affiliation with the American Library Association, the oldest and biggest library association in the world, which operates as a nonprofit and promotes libraries and library education. Ms. Selander is also a member of the Minnesota Library Association and the American Association of University Women. Across her decades-spanning career, she considers seeing families and children return to her library time and time again as a highly notable achievement. She’s also been gratified to see generations pass through her library, including the many adults who she personally remembers frequented the library when they were children, returning with their own children in tow. Further, Ms. Selander was one of the few librarians to hold storytime events for toddlers and enjoyed working with teenage volunteers during summer programs.

For her professional achievements, Ms. Selander is grateful for the mentorship of her mother as well as her uncle, Dr. George N. Aagaard, former dean of the University of Washington School of Medicine. To aspiring professionals in library sciences, she stresses the importance of strong reading skills and a willingness to respectfully interface with others. Ms. Selander believes strongly that continuing to read throughout one’s life is beneficial in many ways, inside and outside the library.

Above all, Ms. Selander believes in the importance of family and holding forgiveness for others in one’s heart. Her hope is to witness libraries’ continued growth and the automation of many of their processes through technological advancements in database management and user interfaces. With far more well-deserved leisure time to spend, Ms. Selander engages in a string of hobbies such as increased reading, playing the piano and the clarinet, sewing, fishing, and ice fishing with her grandchildren. To stay active, she loves swimming and bicycling.


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