LAFAYETTE — Kari Spencer, an Allen East graduate, is the new librarian at the Lafayette Branch of The Lima Public Library. She has a degree in elementary education, has worked in a library, and is an avid reader. Kari comes to the Lafayette branch with new and fun ideas to get the community involved with coming into the library.

“My mom always took us to the library from age two on. Every week we would go, check out books, and read. My mother was an avid reader and passed the love of reading onto me”, Kari stated.

This carried through when Kari had children of her own.

“When my children were little, we had a wonderful library and we became involved in story time and summer reading at Waynesfield White Memorial Library.”

Kari also worked at this library for five years, then budget cuts ended her position there.

“I applied to work in other libraries, including school libraries, and things just didn’t work out.” Kari went on to say, “This job came up and they were warm and welcoming. Debbie at Lima Public Library is amazing. They wanted someone from the community here who knew the people along with likes and dislikes.”

Kari wants the library to be an important part of the community, She wants all ages to come into the building, especially for kids to fall in love with books, She wants to inspire them to fall in love with reading. She commented,

“I still feel like the physical book is so important for kids. They need that tactile, to touch it, turn the pages, the smell…everything. They need all of that.” She continued, “An A reader will not do that for them. A library is important. It is a free place. We have free programs, free books, free computer useage, everything here you need, plus we can order books in.”

When asked about her future program planning or what she hopes to implement in Lafayette, she was not hesitant. She has been thinking and planning.

“I want to implement a strong adult programming system for adults to come,” Kari said. “I want to do a succulent class, a winter program too. I would like to do these programs for adults four times a year. Getting together and have a good time, eat, then have a fun craft or program.”

Kari also envisions kids story time to grow. She is hoping to incorporate a Tuesday morning story time when school starts this fall, and continue the Thursday evening story time. This will give stay at home parents and working parents more choices. There are notes being made for next year’s summer reading, as Kari hopes to expand the program, make it bigger, with more prizes. She would like to include Johnny Appleseed Park and some other things for summer 2020.

Speaking with Kari Spencer you can see the joy for reading, the excitement for planning, and the love of literacy on her face. You can hear how important reading is and how much she wants to encourage that. She truly wants community outreach to be a factor.

“I would love to partnership with the school and the teachers. I want to be a resource teachers can use,” she said, adding, “I know how hard it is to be a teacher. It is a tough job that I would love to help with.”

Kari wants people to come in and check out some books. She wants the love of literacy to shine, and if the numbers come up she is hoping to be open more days a week with longer hours.