University of Wisconsin–Madison

Family Ties: First year student Monika Hetzler follows in her mother’s footsteps

Svetha and Monika Hetzler
Svetha and Monika Hetzler

First year student Monika Hetzler is about to have more in common with her mom. Her mother, Svetha Hetzler, is the library director at the Sun Prairie (WI) Public Library and had a significant influence on Monika’s decision to pursue the library profession. “Growing up, my mom would always take us to the library with her. I would see my mom and other librarians lead programs, help patrons find books and continue to put in the ongoing work of fostering a safe and welcoming environment for patrons. Those trips to the library were my favorite.”

During college, Monika learned about the opportunity gap and the role literacy plays in inequality. While working at a literacy intervention non-profit, she realized she wanted to further her education to work in public libraries and provide services that support literacy for all. As an iSchool student, she works for the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC). “Working in a library that specializes and does ground-breaking research about representation and racial equity in publishing has been my favorite experience so far as a student,” she says.

All the while, she remembers the days she enjoyed hanging out at the library with her mom. Now, however, with almost a year of coursework completed, Monika has conversations about library theory and database vocabulary with her mom. As she enters the library profession, she’ll always have a mentor.

Monika Hetzler is the recipient of the Olive Dornfeld Busjaeger Centennial Scholarship Fund donated by Mr. and Mrs. George G. Babcock.


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