Pamela Westby loves the outdoor opportunities the Midwest offers

– from swimming to fishing to skiing – and she dabbles in photography and figure drawing, but locals know her best as the director of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire. Westby, who is helping to lead the library’s Story Builder fundraising campaign, talked to Volume One about what’s on her personal best-seller list.

Name: Pamela Westby

What place in town considers you a “regular”?

Just Local Food Co-op.

What’s the most positive local development since you moved here?

The renaissance of renewal in downtown Eau Claire with the opening of The Lismore, the Pablo Center, and new businesses, sparking a sense of positive energy and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.

What frustrates you about the Chippewa Valley?

I hope we can create a more diverse and inclusive community, where everyone can feel valued and have a sense of belonging.

What is one of the best cultural experiences you’ve ever had in the Valley?

My favorite cultural experiences (especially over the last year) include a concert at Pablo starring Them Coulee Boys, impromptu conversations at the library with poet Max Garland, an author reading with Emily Anderson at The Plus, and a Chippewa Valley Book Festival event at Forage featuring B.J. Hollars.

What is your favorite piece of local trivia?

Hands down, my favorite local trivia is that Pauline Phillips (aka Abigail Van Buren) and Esther Lederer (aka Ann Landers), the sisters who wrote nationally syndicated advice columns, both once called Eau Claire home. As a young girl, I read their columns.

What book, TV show, or movie would you recommend to the members of the City Council?

Book: Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg (subtitle: “How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life”). Movie: The Public.

I hope we can create a more diverse and inclusive community, where everyone can feel valued and have a sense of belonging.