Burch named next library director
What started as a part-time position for Alisa Burch has led to her being named the new director of the Harrison County Public Library. She succeeds Vi Eckart, who retired Dec. 31 after 37 years in the position.
Burch was first hired in 1997 as a part-time children’s librarian when Joyce Robinson retired. Two things stick out in Burch’s mind from that year: a flood that seeped into the children’s section of the library that was located in the basement of the old Carnegie building and standing outside polling locations to ask voters to make the Corydon Public Library a countywide institution.
The following year, the children’s department, among other aspects of the library, was relocated into new headquarters when the library acquired half of the old NBD bank building; the Carnegie building became the Frederick Porter Griffin Center for Local History and Genealogy. A year later, the necessary documents to create the Harrison County Public Library were approved and signed.
Burch is recognized as the ‘library lady’ by many children in the community.
‘Today, many of the children who attended my programs have grown and now bring their own children in for programs and services,’ she said.
As the library’s services grew and more funding was received, Burch’s responsibilities increased. She eventually became a full-time employee. In January 2018, she was named assistant director to Eckart.
Burch is a 1978 graduate of Corydon Central High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1982 from the University of Evansville. She worked in marketing and publications in Evansville, Goshen, Vincennes and Ocean City, Md., returning to Corydon in late 1990 as the tourism coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County.
Her work at the library led her to earn a master’s degree in library science in 2010 from the Indiana School of Library & Information Science.
‘Since the summer of 2006, I have devoted my career to planning and preparing to serve as the next director,’ Burch said.
She said her goal as director is to focus on community engagement and patron satisfaction.
‘I welcome patron feedback,’ Burch said.
She also wants every student in Harrison County to have a library card and for the library to be a resource for residents.
It was her longevity with the library as well as her community involvement that the board opted to name her as the next director, Jon Howerton, the library board president, said.
That involvement includes going into the local schools, serving on the Indian Creek Trail Committee (Burch currently is its president) and collaborating with Main Street Corydon, 4-H, the Harrison County Community Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce. She also served as swim coach at Corydon Central High School from 2003 to 2006 and earned Mid-Southern Conference Coach of the Year honors.
‘I look forward to partnering with more organizations to come up with programs and services that will benefit our patrons and all of Harrison County,’ Burch said.
Another focus will be to increase participation in the Friends of the Library group.
‘I would love to have more people join the Friends,’ Burch said.
Information about the Friends’ group can be found at the library’s front desk or by calling the main library in Corydon (812-738-4110) as well as the branches in Elizabeth (812-969-2899), Lanesville (812-952-3759) and Palmyra (812-364-6425).
Burch and her husband, Kevin, have three children, Alaine Sims (George) of Plainfield, Lauren Burch of Corydon and Luke Burch of Indianapolis.