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20 under 40: Matt Rosendahl

Matt Rosendahl2 / 2

Age: 35

Occupation: Library Director at the Kathryn A. Martin Library at the University of Minnesota Duluth

What you actually do: Direct the library services that support teaching, learning and research at UMD

Years in your job: Two years at UMD. I’ve been working in libraries for 11 years.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Northland College in Ashland and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Family: Wife, Holly; daughter, Zulema; and dogs, Leeloo and Annie

Community involvement: Lake Superior Library Symposium, a group of amazing northern librarians who meet monthly to plan two annual professional development events and also host occasional social events for people who love libraries; president of the Duluth Public Library Board; Glensheen Advisory Board; Rotary Club 25 and its many service opportunities; Lester Park Elementary School PTA volunteer; and Homegrown Music Festival volunteer.

What do you like most about the Northland? The close-knit, supportive community. The scenery here is great, but the people are even better.

Favorite place in the Twin Ports: “The Shallows” at Lester Park

What keeps you here? First and foremost, Lake Superior. I never again want to live without a daily view of that big, beautiful lake. But that just keeps me on these shores — it’s my family and friends that keep me in the Twin Ports.

What do you do in your free time? Read (of course), run, cross-country ski, disc golf, soak up Duluth’s stellar music scene.

How can the Northland retain younger people? More job opportunities, additional and diverse housing options, improved infrastructure and exceptional schools.

How have social and business networking sites changed your life? They sap the precious free moments that I should spend reading books.

Who has been the most influential person in your life? My grandmother Lucille Cashman. She worked in libraries, had an inspiring love of the arts and was an unfailing example of how to live a life of kindness. She was also my biggest cheerleader, so she’s on my mind and in my heart whenever I feel worried or overwhelmed.

What is your biggest accomplishment? I’m quite proud that my wife and I have been able to support each other in building challenging-but-rewarding careers based on our passions. Any accomplishments I’ve enjoyed would not have been possible without the love and support of our partnership. Also, I’m pretty stoked that our team from UMD was able to get Shakespeare’s First Folio to come to Duluth next year!

What are you most passionate about: I truly am most passionate about libraries and the potential they have to be a platform for change on an individual and societal basis. And I’m passionately thankful to live in a place that is chock-full of inspiring library employees who are driven, dedicated servants to their communities.

What goals have you set for the next 5-10 years? I feel very lucky to work at UMD and live in Duluth, so I have an overly-broad, overly-ambitious goal to pay back this good fortune: my goal is to contribute significantly to achieving the opportunities that lie ahead of our campus and city.

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