Double duty as Beaman leader

BEAMAN – It’s fitting that the Beaman library and city offices are in the same building – because the same person runs them both.

LaVonne Sternhagen is both librarian and city clerk in the town of 191 people.

Two mornings a week she works in city offices and four afternoons per week she runs the library.

“I just walk across the hall,” Sternhagen said of her transition between jobs.

Sternhagen has spent the past 28 years as city clerk and the past 10 as head librarian in a town she adores.

“It’s a nice town to be a part of,” Sternhagen said. “It’s just a friendly town.”

Though she lives in Grundy Center with her husband Joe, she still considers herself a part of Beaman.

“I care about Beaman and want to do what’s best for them,” Sternhagen said.

She said the key to juggling both jobs is to keep them separate, which is hard to do at times. She said often someone will want to pay their water bill at the library and she will make exceptions to take care of the town.

“As long as it doesn’t bother my work,” she said.

She’s proud of the work she has done to move the city offices forward and to keep herself and the library accredited. She also was instrumental in adding the heritage museum in the back of the library, which highlights the town through the years.

Sternhagen said she is probably a couple of years away from retirement and still enjoys juggling both jobs.

“I like what I’m doing,” she said. “I’ve always liked reading books and being with the kids. As city clerk I like serving the people of the town.”