LUSK – Most people in Niobrara County have met Debbie Sturman. Her low, gentle voice cheerfully greets those that arrive at the library whether seeking a new book to check out, there to access the internet on library computers, or drop their children off for Story Hour. She has been an integral part of the library for a total of 32 years and has been the Director since 1996.
Sturman grew up in Lusk and her life has taken her down many diverse roads. Prior to working at the library Sturman worked as a corporate chef in Dallas, TX, managed a cafeteria which employed and trained developmentally disabled workers in Cheyenne and owned the Ranger Coffee Shop right here in Lusk.
Sturman is proud of the hard work that the foundation and library board do to keep knowledge and diversity of programs coming in to Lusk. They established a mission that motivates her every day:The Niobrara County Library, as a vital and progressive organization, meets the community’s information needs, works constantly to improve library service, and generates awareness of the library throughout the county.
Sturman states, “When we offer programs and we get to see the joy that programs bring or the thoughtful discussions that are generated that drives us to offer more. Our county isn’t especially affluent so being able to provide a variety of cultural events and programs is very important in our small community.”
Lusk ROCS and community members acknowledge that while Sturman is almost never the center of attention she is almost always an integral part of the success of programs and organizations. She is supportive of many other organizations providing help in the form of advertising, a space for hosting, computer and Internet access and much more. Sturman is often one of the first to greet newcomers to the community when they come in seeking information or to set up a library card. She is endlessly patient with the community’s youth not only coordinating and hosting multiple activities at the library but also providing a safe space for kids to hang out and watch movies, play on computers, read books and do crafts. It is not always easy to remain committed to that type of a role in the community but Sturman does it all with a smile and a gracious attitude.
For herself, she loves living in Niobrara County. She enjoys seeing how caring everyone is and how ready the community members are to lend a hand to one another.
While almost all of her time and energy is focused on the library and library programs, when she isn’t at work she enjoys reading, learning bridge and as she puts it “dabbles a bit with golf.”
Sturman is well-deserving of the Lusk ROCS Caring for Our Community Award