West Fargo Library reflects on last year, looks ahead with new director

2021 was a busy year for the library

The West Fargo Library will celebrate 50 years in the city. David Samson / The Pioneer
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WEST FARGO — The West Fargo Public Library has a new leader now that Betty Adams was hired as the library's newest director.

Adams was hired June 13 and replaces Carrissa Hansen, who was hired in 2019.

“We are excited to welcome Betty to the West Fargo Public Library,” said Library Board President Liann Hanson. “She will be a collaborative and innovative leader with the right experience to lead the library into its next chapter.”

Betty Adams.jpg
Betty Adams, West Fargo Library Director. Special to the Pioneer.

Adams is a native of Ypsilanti, Mich., and holds a master of library and information science from Wayne State University. She previously served as the director of the Leanna Hicks Public Library in Inkster, Mich.

“Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful as I get acclimated to everything,” Adams said. “I am excited to get to work serving the people of the unique community of West Fargo.”


Adams served as a student government director of diversity, coordinator for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and worked as an ESL teacher in Hongseong, South Korea.

Adams is a member of The Library Network, The American Library Assoc., Michigan Library Assoc., Society of American Archivists, Special Library Assoc. among other professional associations.

At the West Fargo City Commission's June meeting, Adult Services Manager Kirsten Henagin presented the 2021 annual report.

"2021 was a whirlwind of a year for the West Fargo Library," said Henagin.

She said the library saw about a 10% increase since before the pandemic in 2019, of the number of items checked out with more than 147,180 items checked out.

There were 49,448 visits to the library in 2021 and while about 10% of those who visit the library do so to use their public computers, and 90% of visitors come to the library to check out materials, use the space or for library programming. The library offered about 400 unique events in 2021 and about 15,0000 people attended the events.

"The library is often the first stop by those new to our community," Henagin said.

The West Fargo Library celebrated 50 years of service to the community in 2021. It first opened at 404 Sheyenne St. in 1971 with just 3,650 books. Today, the library is home to more than 150,000 books, magazines and other materials.


The library operated at a deficit in 2021 with about 1.5 million in spending and only $1.425 in revenue. However, Henagin said new mills were added to the budget last year and the library should return to the black this year.

West Fargo Public Schools made the change to its student handbook which will apply to all schools. Fargo and Moorhead have similar policies, but they allow teacher discretion.

Readers can reach West Fargo editor Wendy Reuer at or 701-241-5530 . Follow her on Twitter @ForumWendy .

Related Topics: WEST FARGO
As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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