Library worker returns to her roots

Published 8:56 am Saturday, August 1, 2009

FRANKLIN—There’s no need for children to be bored in Franklin, according to Lauren Lombard, new children’s programmer at Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library.

“It’s a good, safe place to come and it can be fun,” she said. “A lot of people don’t realize everything that you can do at the library.”

Lombard, who took over the position at the end of June, is no stranger to the library. She worked there in the same position before resigning to home-school her children.

“I did that for eight years, and it just so happens that when I was ready to come back to work it came open again,” she said.

“It’s changed a lot in eight years,” Lombard said. “When I was here before, it didn’t really focus a lot on teens.” Now the library is trying to reach out to teenagers and get them into the library.

For the past five years, Diana Devore served as the library’s children’s programmer. During her tenure, she started new programs and partnered with local schools to get more children reading.

“She was a tough act to follow,” Lombard said. “She really did a lot with the older kids, going into the schools and working with the school librarians.” Lombard said that she plans to continue the programs started by Devore.

As the children’s programmer, Lombard oversees story time for kids, book clubs, the summer reading program, which just wrapped up, and other programs for children. She also works on collection development.

“I love it,” she said of her “new” position.

Once school starts, the library also works with the Boys and Girls Club, the Head Start program and other youth programs in the area. Lombard said that they help supplement what children are learning in school and encourage them to read.

“When they come in we try to make it a fun experience,” she said. “We just try to instill in them a love of reading.”

Lombard said that the biggest challenge will likely be drawing teens into the library to participate in activities.

“Teens have so much coming at them,” she said. “But I’ve really been encouraged by the young people that come in here. They really seem to be open to reading and to doing things at the library, and not just the computer.” She also said that the library has had a lot of teenagers come in to volunteer.

She said that a lot of the younger children come to the library with their parents or day-care providers.

“That just forms a lifetime habit of going to the library,” Lombard said. “Once you get kids reading it kind of opens a new world to them.”