Waterman takes over as director of Anderson library

Jan. 17—ANDERSON — Edra Waterman's career has come full circle with her appointment as director of the Anderson Public Library.

Waterman's first professional job after receiving a degree in library science at Indiana University was a reference librarian in Anderson.

Since than she has served as the director of the libraries in Plainfield and in Fishers and Noblesville.

But her career path wasn't always geared to library science.

"I didn't plan on being a librarian," she said. "I worked at the library in Tippecanoe County in high school.

"I always loved libraries because I'm comfortable around books," Waterman said. "I didn't know librarian was a profession until I was in college."

She started attending Purdue University to study engineering and changed majors several times including economics, psychology and nursing.

Waterman learned from a friend that they were going to library school at IU.

"I got a degree in English from Purdue," she said.

Waterman got a degree in library science from IU in 1997.

Her family moved to Plainfield in 2007 and after her two daughters graduated from high school and college, she returned to the Anderson area in 2019.

"We were always happy here in Anderson. My husband works for Aspire," she said.

"I was so excited to see the opening in Anderson because I live here." Waterman said. "I have the capacity now to do more and be involved in the community. This is a great opportunity to serve where I live. This library means a lot to be because I worked here before."

She has always been a reader and when under stress goes back to read books she has already read.

"I read a lot of children's books, because they're some of my favorites."

She likes to read mystery, suspense and romance novels.

"I'm not a writer. I love the written word. I'm a talker not a writer," Waterman said.

What direction the library takes locally will be up to the community.

"I think it's really important for the library to reflect the community. That answer has to come from Anderson citizens, community leaders," she said. "What I love about this library is the commitment to community and high-quality service."

Waterman wants to create more connections outside the building in the community.

"The library is such a great neutral ground," she said. "We have a great facility and staff."

With a lot of discussion taking place on what books people should read, Waterman said libraries are for everyone and its collections should reflect that.

"We're fully aware that not every book is for every reader," she said. "I believe that every reader can find their book at the library, reflect all points of view.

"We're here to help you find what you're looking for. There are some things that people don't like, but that's all right. We open the world to people and they choose what they want to read."

Editor's note: Edra Waterman's first name was misspelled in the original version of this article.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.