Vanessa Birdsey is retiring after a decade as director of the Scott County library system.
During her period in senior management positions, new libraries went up in Shakopee, Prior Lake, Savage, Jordan and Elko New Market, and the New Prague branch was remodeled.
Originally from Luverne, in southwestern Minnesota, she graduated from college in 1970 in microbiology and later joined the Air Force intending to become a doctor, according to an account prepared for recognition ceremonies before the county board this week.
She later made a midcareer change to library science.
In 1995, she was hired in Savage as a temporary employee. The chief librarian there left the job and she was named to take that position.
She was both branch manager and associate director of the countywide system until 2003, when she took over as the system's director.