Today is Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pam Moore runs library on the sunny side

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“I always loved libraries during my college years. A friend mentioned a part-time position at the Lebanon library. And I started and I absolutely loved it. I liked it so much. When a full-time position became available, I applied for it,” said Moore, who became branch manager of the Watertown Library this past March.

“My thing is I like to help the elderly people who come in looking for certain kinds of books. I like the customer service part of the library,” said Moore, who worked as a dispatcher for 15 years in Trousdale County for the Hartsville water, fire and police departments before deciding it was time to make a change. “I loved the interaction with people.”

Interaction is what the library is all about for Moore, who helps senior citizens surf the Internet and encourages youngsters to read more books, among other duties in her book world on the Square. 

On a recent weekday afternoon, six cubicles with new computers were being utilized by adults. A few minutes after 3 p.m., when school let out, the adults were gone and most of the computer keyboards were under the control of students doing homework or research for papers. 

“We come here at least once a week, sometimes more. Miss Pamela always helps us out,” said Lowanda Mullican, whose three home-educated children, Abraham, 11, Joy, 9, and Josiah, 4, all sit at computers. “We use lots of nonfiction books for school, and the kids like to use the Internet, and we check out movies.”

Abraham has pulled up the Periodic Table to study the elements today, while Josiah plays on a special computer geared for children ages 2 to 5 that has games that help them learn to count, tell time and write letters, along with other skills.

While the computers are popular with young and old alike, movies on DVD have proven a big hit in recent years.

“Sixty percent of our clientele use nothing but DVDs,” Moore said, noting they have 1,282 titles in stock. Also on the shelves are audio books and Playaways, which are similar to MP3 players and prove easy to listen to while walking or exercising.

Moore offers computer lessons at the library and will help people compose their resumes. The library also will send a fax for a minimum charge.

“All right, sweetheart, let’s see what your charge is,” Moore said kindly to a client who comes in late with a DVD. 

Late fees are 10 cents a day per book and $1 per day for DVD. However, in November Moore instituted Food for Fines, thus she took canned goods in place of the fines. The result was 262 cans of food for Wilson County Christmas for All. 

As for what types of books are proving most popular in her corner of the county, Moore reported, “Most of my ladies like to read Christian fiction. Most of the girls like to read the vampire stuff.”

As for juvenile readers she said, “Comic books are coming back now, but they’re not called comic books. They’re called graphic novels. Those ages 9 and older love the graphic novels. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have gone that route.”

Sure enough, those famous sleuthing teens from yesteryear have received a 21st-century makeover, and between the covers of a Nancy Drew graphic novel the pages look just like a comic book with four or six panels per page and dialog to accompany the illustrations. 

The early elementary school children enjoys mysteries, such as The A to Z Mysteries, and humor books, like the Captain Underpants and Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series.

Moore’s office has windows that give her a wide-open view of the children’s section of the library that holds about 8,000 titles.

“I do Story Time at 10 a.m. Wednesdays for preschoolers and home schoolers,” said Moore, who has a daughter and two grandchildren. “I read a book and try to bring a lesson. We’ve been learning the alphabet. Then we have a snack comparable to the letter for that day, such as an apple for ‘A.’ And we do a little craft. I love it,” she laughed.

The sessions attract from eight to 15 each week, and a parent or guardian accompanies each child.Moore also holds a Summer Reading Program from early June though mid-July. The sessions promote reading and offer entertaining diversions that have included a magician, fun on a water slide, a talk by a dentist and a presentation on how to make maple syrup.

“Having all the books here is great,” Moore said, “but serving the public is the absolute best thing. I like being able to help those who need the help and having the services here that people use, such as Internet and videos, and that we offer these services free. We have to do what we can to do help people.”

Ken Beck may be contacted at kbtag2@gmail.com.

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