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Library offers social experience, not just about reading

New Ellsworth Public Library Youth Librarian and Program Coordinator Elise Gregory is shown reading to children at the storytime held Thursdays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. Submitted photo

People may notice a new face at the Ellsworth Public Library as a new youth librarian and program coordinator started in early January.

Elise Gregory may have started working at the library in January, but is not new to the library.

"I have been a frequent library user," Gregory said. "My kids and I have done a lot of the programs."

As a library staff member, Gregory has a chance to help with programs and create new programs for the enjoyment of library attendees.

"I like connecting with a lot of kids and parents in this community," Gregory said. "Really fun to talk with younger kids."

One of the newest programs offered at the library is a Thursday preschool storytime at 1 p.m. Gregory said they already had a storytime on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. but wanted to offer another to offer more opportunities for children.

"Hoping to catch some of the 4-year-olds from 4K and maybe some 3-year-olds," Gregory said about the Thursday storytime.

Gregory is also looking forward to the summer reading program. The theme will be "Libraries Rock." The program will feature many different people, from those talking about fossils to musicians. More information on the summer reading program will be available at the library around the beginning of May.

Increasing Involvement with the local schools is something else Gregory is hoping to do in her new position.

"Also, I'm really excited to try and connect with school a little bit more," Gregory said. "Hoping for Panthers Kids Club to maybe bring library to them sometimes."

One of the ways to bring library to the schools, Gregory said, would be figuring out a way to take books right to the schools for children to check out; she hopes to work on figuring out how that process would work.

Gregory believes using her organizational will help in this job.

"I really like organizing things," Gregory said. "I really love to get people together."

For the children, Gregory said this is more than just learning to enjoy reading.

"It's a fun way to experience reading and art and other children," Gregory said. "A social experience."

The value of coming to the library and participating in programs is something Gregory sees as vital to the community. She said there are a variety of programs from the children's storytimes, to crafts, to Legos in the library, to movie nights.

"In a lot of places the library has become the heart of town," Gregory said. "I think that we have a lot of things that offer a social experience, not the same as being on Facebook."