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Meet Your Neighbor

Meet Terry Brandt, the newly appointed Director of the La Harpe Carnegie Public Library.

Terry was born in the northwest corner of Illinois on a small dairy and hog farm near Galena.

Terry moved to Macomb, to attend Western Illinois University where he earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and at the same time worked for WIU in the college bookstore as the shipping and receiving clerk.

After graduation from WIU, Terry moved to Lincoln, NE and was employed five years for the Nebraska Book Company, buying and selling textbooks to colleges and universities in most of the continental United States.

He was then hired by St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN where he managed the text and trade book department for five years.

He returned to Illinois and managed a private bookstore off campus in Evanston. The bookstore served Northwestern University. He briefly managed the DePaul University, Chicago's Lincoln Park Campus Bookstore.

He also briefly was employed with Clearvue/SVU in Chicago, an elementary and high school audiovisual producer, in sales, customer service and IT support; with Pearson Publishing in Glenview, as a customer service rep; and managed the bookstore and building rentals at the C. G Jung Institute, a private scholarly bookstore and library, in Evanston.

There was a period while in the Chicago area that Terry did several short-term jobs. One was retail sales at Marshall Field's Department Store, Package delivery driver for RPS (now Fed Ex Ground), Northbrook, worked as office assistant and wine and spirits buyer for an up-scale restaurant, EJ's Place in Skokie.

The last jobs twelve years before moving to La Harpe were for two major plastics and polymer manufacturers, Spartech Plastics in Evanston, with corporate offices in Cape Girardeau, MO, and TriStar Plastics in Hoffman Estates, with corporate house in Shrewsbury, MA.

That brings Terry to his most recent job at Casey's in La Harpe, so his face may be familiar!

Terry said, After 22 years in Chicago, he felt it was time to move out of the city and be near family. So he moved to Blandinsville where my sister, Sherry Talbott and niece Sheyanna Hunt and husband Colby live with their two children, Charlotte and Lucy.

"There is nothing that compares to the peace and quiet of a rural community where you can walk out your back door and see the stars as well as having family close by."

Terry is an avid reader, and feels that employment at the library is a perfect fit for him.

"I can work in an area I feel strongly about; reading and literacy for all ages. I realize it will be a challenge in the new digital age, but I believe the library is an important element of all small-town communities. We need to support and utilize this amazing institution that has been part of La Harpe since 1905."

Terry enjoys reading, yard work and gardening, as well as taking walks and playing with his best friend, Mocha, his chocolate Labrador Retriever and his Boxer "Riley".

Terry said the La Harpe community is fortunate to have this historic Carnegie library.

As new director of the La Harpe Carnegie Public Library, Terry said, "I enjoy working in the library and with the community in all aspects.

"Whether you are a reader checking out books and magazines, using the computers, researching family and regional history, studying, or just stopping by to talk or visit, we want to make it a welcoming place for everyone

"I am so delighted to be a part of the community, being surrounded by books, and meeting the people, both adults and kids, of La Harpe."

Terry said he hopes you stop by and say hello and see what your local library has to offer!