When I learned that the Kingston Library was offering a tour of it’s facility on Tuesday, March 9th at 6:00pm by Margie Menard (the Director herself), I simply couldn’t wait to share the news.
Margie took a moment to answer a few of our questions. We hope that some of you can make the tour tomorrow night and that even more of you will consider becoming a member if you are not one already.
Rebecca Martin: How long have you worked at the Kingston Library?
Margie Menard: I started working at Kingston Library as the Reference Librarian in November of 2004. I was later promoted to Assistant Director and took my current position as Director in April 2008
RM: Could you give us an overview of your programs in 2010?
MM: We have some really terrific programs lined up for 2010. We will be continuing some of our longstanding, popular programs as well as adding some new programs. Continuing programs include our literary discussion group which meets on the 4th Monday of every month at noon. This group discusses a broad range of literature from classics to contemporary novels and poetry. We also have an extremely popular Classics in Religion discussion group that meets Wednesday mornings. For one hour each week, local religious leaders make selections for reading aloud and discussion. Over the years, this group has studied across a broad range of faith traditions and spiritual practices. Also on Wednesdays in the evening, a devoted group of Bridge players meet for cards and fellowship in our community room. For young children we have twice weekly story hours on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings which include stories, crafts and music. Kingston Library will also continue to host the monthly Super Saturdays programs for families which have included puppetry, science demonstrations, live animal shows, music, dance, magic and story telling. The library also plans a broad range of activities for kids to keep them engaged in reading over the summer as part of our Summer Reading Program. This year we will be continuing and expanding on our summer program for teens that was begun last year thanks in part to a generous grant from Ulster Savings Bank. In addition, we have occasional programs throughout the year for all ages that in the past have included gardening, readings by local authors, kayaking, financial planning, meditation, music, local history and more. There is also much to enjoy in rotating exhibits of artwork and information on the library’s walls and in display cases.
RM: What do you feel is the greatest challenge in providing this community service?
MM: One of our greatest challenges is getting the word out to people that the library is probably so much more than they think it is. Often, people stop visiting the library when they leave school and don’t realize that we have something to offer everyone, at every stage in their lives. In addition to outstanding books and dozens of magazine and newspaper subscriptions, we have graphic novels and comics, popular music CDs, current feature films on DVD, audio books on tape and CD as well as downloadable books that can be downloaded to your iPod or MP3 players. The library provides dozens of public internet computers and free wifi access. We also provide a broad range of online resources that can be used from any internet accessible computer in your home or office. These resources include homework support and early literacy resources for kids, language learning instruction for those wishing to learn languages from Arabic to Vietnamese and English as a second language instruction, job finding resources, test prep for civil service and academic tests like the SAT and GED. The library is also just a great place to meet your neighbors and see what’s going on in the community. Community groups are invited to make use of our meeting spaces and we have had groups ranging from local service agencies and neighborhood groups to 4H clubs and crafters meet here.
RM: The tour of the facility is a great idea! What do you hope participants will walk away with and will you continue to give tours of the Library?
MM: I hope that as many people as possible come to tour our building. The idea is to give participants a complete picture of the library from children’s and adult services to administrative activities and the physical plant. Even those of us who use the library aren’t always aware of everything that goes into providing this invaluable community resource. Kingston residents have a long history of supporting their library. I’d like to give people an opportunity to see the whole library from a new perspective so they can feel proud of this remarkable resource that their tax dollars support. We will continue to do tours of the facility as long as people are interested in learning more about it.
RM: Can you name one really special aspect of Kingston’s library that perhaps most people wouldn’t know?
MM: One of the most special aspects of Kingston Library is that it’s function is to serve the residents of Kingston and it’s resources are available to everyone–no exceptions. We want the library to be a meaningful part of of our community and we want everyone to know that no matter what point you’re at in life, the library has something to offer you. Whether you’re looking for education, information or recreation, you can find it at the library. Come sign up for a library card and discover what special things the library has to offer you.
RM: What’s the best way for a person to be in touch if they wish to volunteer?
MM: The best way for someone to be in touch if they want to volunteer at the library is to come in and use the resources, see what’s happening, chat with the staff and see where they would like to participate. Join the Friends of Kingston Library and become part of a great group of smart, friendly, interesting people dedicated to serving their community by supporting their library. FOKL will be having their annual meeting starting at 7:00 on Tuesday March 9th at the library. Come at 6:00 for refreshments and a tour. We are also looking for dedicated people interested in serving on the Kingston Library Board of Trustees. Library trustees are a bridge between the library and the community and serving in this capacity can make a significant contribution to the community. Join us at a board meeting on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 at the library. There are opportunities from high tech to low tech, with ages from children to seniors, working directly with people to behind the scenes support work. Come in and see what’s happening!