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Massena Public Library hires new part-time youth services librarian

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MASSENA - On her first day of meeting with the youngest of readers during a Bibliobabies session, Kimberly Holmes selected “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”

“It’s one of my daughter’s favorite books. This is an awesome book, one of my favorites,” the new Massena Public Library youth services librarian said.

Ms. Holmes was hired on a part-time basis - 30 hours a week - on Sept. 28. She replaces Elaine Dunne-Thayer, who was appointed as the library director after 11 years as the youth services librarian.

“My hours kind of vary. Every day is a little different,” she said.

She comes to the library with an extensive literacy background.

“I’ve done lots of teaching and tutoring at all different levels,” she said.

Originally from outside of the Watertown area, Ms. Holmes said she has lived in Potsdam for six years.

“I came up for college and never left,” she said.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in childhood education and a master’s degree as a literacy specialist. Ms. Holmes is certified in early childhood education, childhood education and literacy in grade four through 12.

“I’ve substituted in a lot of schools,” she said, including Brushton-Moira, Heuvelton, Canton and Potsdam.

Books are a major part of her life and her family’s as well, she said.

“I’m crazy about books,” Ms. Holmes said.

So when she heard about the vacancy at the Massena Public Library with Ms. Dunne-Thayer’s promotion, it seemed like a natural fit for her background.

“It’s a lot of fun. I get to read stories to kids and do crafts,” she said.

She’s in charge of pre-school storytime at 10 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays and Bibliobabies at 10 a.m. Tuesdays.

Storytime is a program designed for children who are 2 to 5 yeas old and their parent or caregiver. The program consists of storytelling, song, and a simple craft.

Bibliobabies is a lap-sit program for babies who are newborn to age 2 and their parent or caregiver. This informal group meets for a simple board-book story and playtime.

“I love the interaction, reading with the kids and seeing them get excited about books and stories,” Ms. Holmes said.

But, as she settles into the job, she would like to provide more offerings.

“I’d like to see if we can find something for kids that are a little bit older,” she said. “(Ms. Dunne-Thayer) is still showing me the ropes. There’s more to come.”

Ms. Dunne-Thayer said Ms. Holmes’s workload will get busier as time progresses.

“It’s a lot of work. Kimberly is in charge of all programming - summer reading, Battle of the Books, teen programming and storytime. She’ll be serving on the desk as well,” she said.

For now, an upcoming event is the children’s Halloween program at 10 a.m. Oct. 27, when children of all ages are invited to join Ms. Besio to learn about bats. They will also make a “bat mask” craft project.

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