CALLENDER - She's working when she sits and colors with the young ones.
She's working when she looks through sale books on a rack.
She's working when she digs through stacks and stacks of donated books to see which books should be kept and which should be sold. She's really working then.
But for Tina Twito, librarian at the Callender Heritage Library, work is fun. A lot of fun.
"It's a job I kind of fell into," Twito said. "Barb Smith is my best friend's mother, and when there was an opening at the Lehigh library, it was suggested I try for it."
Barb Smith is a former librarian in Lehigh.
At Your Service
A weekly look at area residents who have chosen a life of public service
Position: Librarian, Callender Heritage Library
Hours worked: 2:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, also 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday
How to reach her: 548-3803
"That gave me a chance to do storytime with the kids there and to get training," Twito said. "Barb actually recommended I try for this job."
The Callender library "stays pretty busy," she said. "Especially in the summer. I do like working with the kids, and I do have a weekly storytime. I try never to read the same book twice."
Wednesday morning storytime can bring as many as 15 youngsters to the library, depending on the week, Twito said. Storytime includes a story and activity, rhymes or a song and a craft.
Twito said she gears her library book purchases to her patrons.
"I like to get people what they want," she said. "Because we're small, I can do that. It's a very community-driven collections development here. I rarely buy a book for one person that doesn't leave the shelves again."
The library receives funding both from the city of Callender and from Webster County.
"We don't have a friends group at this point," Twito said. "But, we do a lot of fundraising. I did luck out and get a grant for the summer reading program, especially for children's programming."
That grant money bought children's books, a puppet theater, children's furniture and two laptops so teens will have an increased access to information.
Recent summer visitors to the library got a warm welcome from patrons, young and old alike, Twito said. More than 70 people stopped at the library to hear about and see a screech owl, a snake, a ferret, alligator and hissing cockroach.
"The alligator was a big hit," she said.
Money from the most recent fundraiser was going to be used "to buy tables to replace the older tables in the community center," Twito said. "Now, with our air conditioner broken, we don't know yet."
Technically a part-time employee, Twito said it's not unusual for her to spend a bunch more time at the library than she has to.
Books always are for sale at the library, she said. "We're weeding the main collection and we have donated books we can't use. I usually have a big sale once or twice a year, but I always have something for sale."
Paperbacks are a quarter, hard covers are 50 cents and videos, if there are any, are a quarter.
"We still have VCRs because I still have VCR checkouts," Twito said. "That's another of those community things. We're very needs-based. If they're still checking them out, we'll still have them available."
Teens like to gather at the library, she said. "To use the computer mostly. But there's not other places for them to get together. I've never been a 'shhh' librarian. I don't mind if kids talk and kids play. Storytime is always loud."
This feeling of freedom keeps the younger readers happy, she said.
"They enjoy the library, and I want them to enjoy it."
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org