Cary Siegfried Leaves Legacy of Community in Arlington’s Libraries

Articles Library 01-25-16

A bus full of Arlington ISD pre-kindergartners arrives at the library for their school field trip. Anticipation is in the air, as the children are excited to receive their first library cards. After their introduction, the kids leave full of excitement as official library cardholders, with their first book tucked nicely away in a little red bag.

This event unfolds every year and is one of Cary Siegfried’s favorite memories that she will take to her new post in Salinas, California. Siegfried served as Arlington’s Director of Libraries and Community Services for 11 years and spent a total of 24 years with the City’s library working to increase literacy services, which can have life-changing effects, for Arlington’s residents.

“She is a case of extreme dedication, not just to library but to people the library serves,” said Bill Lace, former chair of the Library Advisory Board and Foundation Board. “It’s not putting the library out there but services the library provides to people.”

During Siegfried’s tenure, she focused on listening to community needs and responding with services that addressed them.

When she first started as director, residents voiced a need for literacy initiatives. Under Siegfried, literacy programs for all ages flourished. As opposed to a solitary GED program taught a decade ago, Arlington now offers significantly more: ESL classes, critical early childhood initiatives, and library branches in a few AISD elementary schools to name a few.

Additionally, City residents will reap the rewards of her meticulous planning when the new George W. Hawkes Central Library opens in Downtown Arlington in 2018.

“The library is not about one person. My staff has always been active and out in the community,” she said. “Instead of one face of the library system, we have about 25. I’m certain they’re not going to miss a beat.”