April 13, 2016
Laura Ortiz was named director of the Hastings Public Library effective April 1. It was a natural progression and a dream of hers.
The minute she walked into the Hastings Public Library years ago, “I knew this was the place I wanted to spend my time…when I was growing up, the library was my safe haven, it was only natural that it should eventually be my home,” she said.
A substitute teacher in the Hastings Area School System, Ortiz started volunteering at the library when it was across from the Barry County Courthouse.
She was first hired part time, then full time and when Director Evelyn Holzwarth retired, was named interim director.
“Evelyn knew that was my goal and she worked with me for 18 months before she retired. It was wonderful,” she said.
Ortiz gives much of the credit for the smooth operation of the library to the staff. “We have a great staff, they’re very supportive.”
The community is also strongly supports the facility, she said. When matching funds for a grant were needed, the community quickly responded with the match needed. Ortiz and the library staff are always looking for new events and programs to involve the community.
The mother of two, a son, 19, and a daughter, 23, Ortiz is looking forward to a long directorship in the library; the place that she was meant to be.
“I am so blessed to be living and working in a wonderful community that shows their support each and every day,” she said.