Faces in the crowd: Julie Moore Peterson

The South Dakota Humanities Council recently awarded Julie Moore Peterson in the “librarian” category for her outstanding commitment to advocacy of the humanities in the state.

STURGIS, S.D. — Julie Moore Peterson has held the title of Library Director of the Sturgis Public Library for 15 years, but has been working there since 1985. The work she does is more than just a love for books.

Julie says, “You have to love people — you have to love community.”

Julie Moore Peterson

Julie Moore Peterson

She enjoys connecting people to books and in this digital age, a book can be a special adventure you hold in your hand.

Julie says, “And there’s more to it these days, of course, technology and digital resources have changed our field drastically. But one of the best things is connecting readers and books and readers and authors and that’s one of the favorite parts of my job.”

Julie has always loved to read and views the library as a type of sanctuary.

Sturgis Library

“I grew up as a latchkey kid. I went to the library and nobody else did back then, in Brookings where I grew up, and I knew then that — that is home,” says Julie.

A book can be a meaningful connection for children as there is something magical about a crisp turn of the page.

“The other part of reading physical books as children is the connection you have by reading with your parents or your friends or reading to your pets or your stuffed animals and you have the physical act of turning the pages and anticipating in what comes next.”

As an advocate of humanities in South Dakota, she wants to make sure the stories remain vital.

Julie with books

“We are a state of such diverse populations and interesting people. We are also people who have been here for many years and our relatives and great grandparents and their great grandparents came over from Europe, started farming and worked hard and the stories of how they ended up in South Dakota and why they stayed in South Dakota are just fascinating. And then we have our Native American population and their stories are invaluable to our culture And so we do everything we can to keep promoting the stories in South Dakota.”

The Festival of Books is coming to Deadwood October 4-6. Click here for more information.

For a  list of other South Dakota Humanities Council Awards, click here. 

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