Diane Borgert to retire as Swanville’s librarian

She is leaving behind 25 years of shelving books

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
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After 25 years, Diane Borgert will be retiring from her job as the Swanville librarian. She is pictured doing what she does best, shelving library books. Her last day is Saturday, Aug. 4, and the community is invited for cake and coffee to wish her well.

Since 1987, Diane Borgert has run the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) in Swanville.

“It’s been a great job and the GRRL is a wonderful library system,” she said. “Swanville is fortunate to have any library being such a small, out-of-the-way town.”

Borgert said she remembers that Swanville and Royalton were the first libraries in the GRRL system, beginning in 1969.

Before that, there was a library which moved around the town, setting up in people’s homes or other buildings.

“The current building became the first and only permanent location for the library sometime in the 1960s,” she said.

Borgert grew up in New Town, N.D., and received her bachelor of science degree in education from North Dakota State University in 1969. Her first job was in Swanville.

Borgert never left.

“I met my husband, John, here in Swanville. He was also a teacher and a coach,” she said. “I taught 3 1/2 years of physical education and health to students in grades seven-10 and English to seventh and eighth graders.

After the Borgerts’ first child, Swanville allowed her to teach physical education on a part-time basis.

“The school said the home economics students could receive class credits for babysitting at my home while I worked,” she said. “We lived across the street and the students took turns coming over.”

Borgert resigned when she had her second child. She eventually had two more children, but did keep her foot in the door of the school by substitute teaching.

The Borgerts’ children are Jeff, Jennie, Nikki and Jessie.

The job at the Swanville Library opened up in 1987, and she was hired But, she did not give up her job as a substitute teacher.

In 1989, Borgert got another job with the Freshwater Education District and instructed students who were going after their general education diploma. She was able to teach the course at the library and retired from Freshwater in 2009, after 20 years.

For the past two years, Borgert said she has pestered Swanville Mayor Sandy Peterson with an expansion to the overcrowded library next to the city’s offices. For a long time, an appropriate spot was sought, but nothing seemed to work. Either the owner of a building was not willing to sell or too much renovation work was needed.

“Julie Hollermann, the city secretary, came up with the idea of moving her office out of the building and expanding what was already there,”said Borgert.

The new library is spacious, with about 50 percent more space than it had before. Golombecki Construction was responsible for much of the renovation.

Borgert said one of her customers was appreciative of the fact that library patrons didn’t need to back up when meeting another patron in a book aisle.

She finds it ironic that she is leaving after working so hard to get a larger library.

Borgert plans on biking and camping more, spending more time with her grandchildren and would really like to do some traveling.

“I would love to go to Ireland and England,” she said, revealing her ancestry is Irish.

And, of course, she will now have more time to read.

Borgert’s last day is Saturday, Aug. 4. Coffee and cake will be served to all who come to wish her well.