Though Kelly Chambala began her librarian career in a school setting, her new post as the children's librarian at Maxwell Memorial Library presents the same challenge.
"The purpose of me being here is the same - getting kids to love books, getting kids comfortable with the library," Chambala said last week.
Chambala began the part-time position at Maxwell in February, when the previous children's librarian retired. She was previously the K-5 librarian in the Vestal School District in Binghamton, and is a Skaneateles High School, (1995) and Ithaca College (1999) alumna. She and her family moved to Tully in August, the latest stop in her "upstate tour," she laughed.
Chambala currently splits her time between Maxwell and her two sons, Everett, 3, and Wesley, 2.
"Every day there's a moment I'm so thankful I'm there," Chambala said of her time at home with the boys.
A new challenge
Chambala said so far she has already noticed how family and child-oriented Maxwell is.
"The kids have been wonderful," she said. "And there is a great library staff."
Her post at Maxwell expands the ages she will deal with to "school-aged children," which opens up a new age range: teenagers.
"Teens are my next challenge," Chambala joked. "How do you make it cool to be at the library? That's every librarian's challenge."
She hopes to develop a teen reading club in coming months similar to the Page Turners Club, a club for kids ages 8 to 12 and their parents that launched last week.
"It's kids and their parents talking about a book, not homework," Chambala said. The club provides a way for parents to bond with their kids, when they're at an age where they start wanting to be their own person.
Chambala can be found at the library from 4 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays; she hopes to extend her hours during the summer. Since joining Maxwell, Chambala has developed the Page Turners club and the Kid's Time afterschool craft program.
Page Turners is held from 7 to 7:45 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month for ages 8 to 12 and their parents.
Kid's Time is held from 4:15 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays for children in kindergarten through second grade and includes a story and craft.
For more information about Maxwell Memorial Library programs and events, call 672-3661, or visit the Web site at maxwellmemoriallibrary.org.