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Youth Librarian Miss April King

This blog spotlight features a local youth librarian by the name of Miss April. I had the honor to partner with Miss April during the summer reading program at the library. She gave me the opportunity to share my children's book called Sea Of Feelings. Miss April's youth program at the Gandenhutten Library has such a positive atmosphere that I highly recommend everyone checking out all the great programs they have to offer.

Tell me your name and a little bit about yourself professionally and personally (like what you enjoy doing when you’re not working)?

My name is April King and I am the Youth Librarian at Gnadenhutten Public Library.  In addition to my duties with youth of all ages, I also organize our After Hours Book Club for Adults and host a weekly Facebook Live program called, “Foodie Friday.”  

I am a mother of 3.  My daughter is 14 and my twin sons are 12.  I have a cute ginger cat named, “Artemis Ruth” who is only nice when she’s about to be fed.  I adore her! When I’m not working, I love to read, SING, and travel (or, mostly, plan possible trips that will likely never happen.)

Where do you work and what is your role?

My role is the Youth Librarian at the Gnadenhutten Public Library.

How long have you been in this role?

7 Years

What type of skills are important and required for a person to have in your role?

A person in my role must be super organized, enjoy planning, and be detail-attentive. There is not a lot of supervision at my library, so one must also be a self-starter. It is also important to have knowledge of the interests and development of children (of all ages) in order to create programs of purpose from birth through young adult.

Please tell the readers something they would be surprised to know about you?

I have a Juris Doctor Degree, as well as a Masters in Applied Teaching. I do not have a degree in Library Science.

What’s a typical day or week for you at your job?

Most weeks consists of the same activities. Finding items (books/movies) to share with other member libraries in our consortium. Receiving items from other libraries in our consortium. Hosting at least 1 story time or other event. Re-shelving items received or those returned from our patrons. Visiting a preschool. Planning for future events. Researching books to purchase or promote. Purchasing books for collection. Researching books for Book Club. Ordering books for book club. Planning or presenting summer reading events. Providing excellent patron service to patrons of all ages.

What are some of the challenges of your role?

Purchasing books that juvenile patrons will be interested in checking out. Competing with extra-curriculars, video games and social media to create a place where teens & tweens will want to gather for events. Keeping the interests of toddlers and babies by selecting quality story time themes, books and songs. Changing “gears” and choosing Book Club books that will spark interest in adults.

What are the rewards?

I have the best job on the planet. I visit preschools, which is so much fun! I read stories to children, make crafts and sing songs. I help patrons of all ages find books, audiobooks and movies of interest to them. I share my love of food and simplistic cooking with the public every week.

What would you recommend to someone who is considering going into a role like yours? Or something you wish you could tell your younger self when you first started out into the profession?

I think it really helps to have a lot of experience with children before becoming a Youth Librarian. Children are unpredictable and you need to be able to “go with the flow” during all programs that involve children. It also helps to feel comfortable singing, especially with babies and toddlers. Youth/Children’s Librarian positions are competitive and difficult to find. However, if you’re lucky enough to find employment, and you are the right person for the position, I promise you’ll love your job!

Do you have any words of wisdom for the readers?

If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book. (Ok, J.K. Rowling said that, but it’s truth!)

Please highlight some of the events/projects/services you offer?

  • Baby/toddler/preschool story time

  • Preschool visits

  • In-home story time or daycare providers

  • Book Club for Adults

  • Informal After-school homework help

  • Basic technology assistance

  • Summer Reading for all ages

  • Traditional library services

  • Foodie Friday

How can people reach you with questions or find out more about all the great services you offer?

Email: Phone: 740-254-9224 Follow us on Facebook: Gnadenhutten Public Library (we’re the only one in the world!)

Please feel free to share anything else you would like to share with readers.

Covid Closure Storytimes are archived on our YouTube channel and all Foodie Friday videos are available on our Facebook page for viewing.

Libraries are far more than old buildings full of old books. Come in and “check us out.”

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