Helping children discover a love for books and reading is a passion for Kathleen Blackburn.
As youth services librarian at Porter County Public Library, South Haven branch, Blackburnplans and executes all children and young adult programming and orders all materials for young patrons, birth to age 17. This includes books, books on CD, DVDs, movies and magazines.
During story hour, Blackburnintroduces toddlers, 2 and 3 year olds and preschoolers, 4 and 5 year olds to books. New programs begin tomorrow and run for 12 weeks. Toddlers meet at 10:12and preschoolers at 11 a.m.
The library offers an American Girl Program and will begin a book discussion group next month during Teen Read Week, October 18 to 24. Mother Goose on the Loose, for children birth to age 3 and their parent or caregiver is set to meet on Saturday beginning in January. "It will be an interactive program, 30 minutes of nonstop activity," she said. "It's going to be great."
Blackburnworks with students too. Four Head Start classes and two special education classes come to the library once a month. First-graders from Saylor Elementary Schoolalso visit the library regularly and Blackburnmeets with second-graders from the school during the holidays to contrast different ways "The Night before Christmas" is done. This summer she also was involved in Accelerated Reading testing along with PortageTownshipSchoolsand Portage Public Library.
"I feel very fortunate we're able to do this type of outreach here," she said.
"It's good for the community."
While ordering new books for young patrons is a favorite part of her job, she also loves working with children, their parents and her coworkers.
"I think this is one of the best systems," she said. "I love the way they handle things. We have a nice facility and have a great staff, from the administration on down."
Blackburnhas been employed by Porter County Library for 27 ½ years. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in library science, both from Indiana University, Bloomington. She and her husband, Charles, live in South Haven and have two children.
By Sue Bero, Times Correspondent
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