Library Staff

Renee Kendall, Director

"I live at Lost Island Lake with my husband Mike and our wirehaired Griffon, Prine. I retired from working 45 years as a nurse in 2020 and we moved to the lake full time. Together Mike and I have 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. I enjoy summers on the lake boating and kayaking, but also cross country ski and snow shoe during the winter. I volunteer at the Lost Island Nature Center and enjoy participating in the activities offered there. Getting involved in the Ruthven Public Library has been a wonderful experience. I’m looking forward to what this next year brings at the library."


Cheryl Sikora, librarian

"I live on an acreage outside of Ruthven where I enjoy gardening, flowers, feeding the birds (mostly sparrows but I don't care), cooking, and collecting recipes.  I retired after 37 years as a dispatcher for the Spencer Police Department.  I am a member of Spencer Women of Today.  I have enjoyed being a part of this service organization.  I started at the Ruthven Public Library after retirement on a whim and have never regretted my decision."


BJ Hemmingsen, librarian & notary

Has lived in Ruthven for 36 years.  She and her husband Duane raised their four children here.  BJ has been involved in many community activities during her tenure in Ruthven.  She was highly involved in her children's activities at school and outside of school.  She could be found at many a T-ball, softball, baseball, and basketball game, track meets, band and vocal concerts, plays and 4-H activities.  She also directed the Summer Youth Program for 5 years.  Since her retirement, she has managed the local Food Pantry, and volunteers at the Lost Island Nature Center, as well as working at the library.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, reading, and tending to her flower garden.


Connee Woods, librarian

"Hi, I'm Connee.  I'm married, mother of two, grandmother to seven, great-grandma to two and am a retired social worker.  I Love Life!  I live on an acreage with my husband, 4 horses, two dogs, and assorted cats.  I also love to READ.  Stop in and meet me at our library.  I will look forward to it."


Sarah McMorn, librarian

"Hi! My name is Sarah, my husband Josh and I moved to Ruthven in 2021. We came from Oklahoma and moved to Iowa to be closer to family. We have a small poodle mix named Taffy and love to hike and visit the lake. I have always loved books so much that my junior high teacher declared I would grow up to be a librarian one day. When I was offered a job at the Ruthven Public Library, I jumped at the chance to get to know the community and to be a part of it. I am so excited to be here and to get a chance to participate in this wonderful library."


Georigia Wrightsman, librarian

"My husband and I moved to Lost Island Lake 4 years ago after we retired. I was a Social Worker for 39 years at St. Luke Nursing Home in Spencer. We have 2 sons and six grandchildren. I enjoy nature and my activities on and around the lake, fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking and hiking the wonderful trails. I volunteer at the Nature Center. My husband and I enjoy traveling. I love to read and participate in book Club and other programs at the library. The Library has given me the opportunity to meet people and become more involved in the community.."