Retiring Rosche leaves remarkable record

THE PUBLIC LIBRARY HAS always been a vital part of any community.

In many ways, the public library was the original community center in many places, offering information, entertainment and education along with a gathering place for citizens at a time when those were not otherwise readily available to the masses.

That was true here in Plymouth from the very first days of the city, when the first efforts were made to establish a library. After several decades of a somewhat nomadic existence, finding space in various rented or loaned locations, the Plymouth Public Library finally found a permanent home on Division Street in a Carnegie library building in 1915.

In the little over a century since, the Plymouth Public Library has served the city and area well.

For the last quarter of a century, that effort has been led by Library Director Martha Rosche, who will be retiring at the end of this month.

That 25 years saw tremendous changes in the society the library serves, and tremendous changes in the services the library provided and its patrons sought.

Many want to say that public libraries have outlived their usefulness, that their role as community and cultural centers has become irrelevant and unnecessary.

But nothing could be farther from the truth and that is especially so in Plymouth.

Much of that is thanks to Rosche’s tireless efforts and sterling leadership as library director the last 25 years.

Rosche made sure that the Plymouth Public Library remained relevant, important, useful and vital to the city and community.

She brought something to the position of library director that none of her distinguished predecessors did – professional training. She was the city’s first library director with a master’s degree in library and information science.

Rosche put that knowledge and training to good use in leading the library into the 21st


She oversaw automation of the library’s circulation system, technology advances to enhance services, security systems for the building and its materials, expansion of digital resources and more.

Rosche worked tirelessly to promote the library and its services not only in the city but throughout the county, making it one of the major libraries in the county.

Through partnerships with community groups and organizations, such as the Plymouth Historical Society, the Generations intergenerational center, Plymouth School District Community Education and Recreation, and area businesses that supported reading programs, Rosche made the library an institution that served everyone in the community of all ages.

Beyond the city limits, she made sure that the Plymouth Public Library was a vital member of the regional library systems and played a key role in ensuring that all the benefits and services of the Monarch Library System were available to all patrons of the Plymouth Public Library.

Rosche leaves behind an unequalled record of service to the library and the community that it serves. The Plymouth Public Library is stronger for the efforts she brought to her work and the city is a better place because of those efforts and what they brought to the Plymouth Public Library.

Congratulations, Martha Rosche, on a job well done for a quarter of a century and best wishes on your retirement.

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