Rachel Hadidi said would visit garage sales as a girl with her mother to find books.

Now Hadidi is surrounded by books, as she began as director of library services in May at the Flower Mound Public Library. She succeeds Sue Ridnour, who retired in March after 24 years with the library.

“I’m really excited to learn more about the community and how we can better serve them,” Hadidi said.

Hadidi grew up in Argyle and attended the University of North Texas, where she earned her bachelor's degree in history, a master's in library science and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary information science. She is a member of the Texas Municipal League Directors Association and the Public Library Administrators of North Texas, according to a news release from the town of Flower Mound.

She holds more than 10 years of municipal library experience, having recently served as the managing director of library services at the Little Elm Public Library since 2022. Prior to working there, she was the director of library services for Lake Dallas and the community outreach librarian for Plano, the release stated.

Hadidi said her favorite genre of books depends on the time of the year, as she said she enjoys sci-fi and fantasy during the winter months, and she reads a lot of lighthearted mystery and romantic comedies in the summer. In the spring, she enjoys nonfiction.

“I read five books at a time,” she said.

The interview has been edited for clarity.

Tell us about a book that inspired you in your life, and why?

I love to read, I love books, but I can’t think of any particular book or series that stood out. I do know that when I was a kid, my mom and I would go to garage sales because I was such a voracious reader. We weren’t always going to the bookstore, so we went to the library, and we would go to garage sales, and we would just buy series and series of books. [Reading] has always been the way I engaged with the world.

Why did you choose a career working in libraries?

I don’t how much that I chose it as much as it chose me. I really enjoy being able to interact with people. I really enjoy all the programming that we get to do, and I get to do something different every hour if I want to. I don’t need to sit behind a desk all day.

What excites you about this job at Flower Mound Public Library?

I’m really excited to get to know the community and what they want to see—do they want more programs, do they want more books? What really brings them in and where they are engaging with us? I think there are so many opportunities to grow and really learn what is important to this community.

Will you do anything different as the new library director, such as starting new programs or initiatives?

It's such a welcoming community here, and they are already engaged in all the programs and all the opportunities we have here. I just want to see that expand. I want to be able to reach people who aren’t coming in, or maybe we want to possibly start some more adult programs or partner with the senior center or other departments and community organizations to think of new programs that [can] reach populations that other departments and other organizations are not.