The Importance of a Library
I had the opportunity to interview Jennifer Ashby. She has been the director of the Asotin County Library since February of 2001. She oversees just about everything that goes on in the library. She is in charge of budgets, facilities, personnel, collections, technology, programs, services, and public relations. She gave me a lot of great information on the history and current events of the library.
Before the original library was built in 1913, books were sent from an Episcopal congregation in Vermont to the Episcopal Church in Clarkston. A library of sorts was set up in the basement of the church. More and more books were purchased and this space was eventually ...view middle of the document...
In fact, there was remarkable growth in public libraries. She said that libraries are such an integral part of society that they were too important to let go of.
A delightful part of the library that Jennifer enjoys is the library cat, Carmen. Jennifer was offered the cat in March. The library decided to adopt the feline. When Jennifer took Carmen to get spayed, it was discovered that the cat was going to have kittens. In April, six kittens were born and were adopted out to loving families. This was also one of Jennifer’s favorite memories. Another fond memory for her was when Mary Neuman was hired as the Children’s librarian. Jennifer added that when Mary joined the team, they were able to expand their services and programs, especially for children. Mary brought more story times and activities to the library.
Some important years in the library’s history are 1913 and 1992. In 1913, the Clarkston Carnegie Public Library was built. It was the first in the nation to act as a public library as well as a high school library. 1992 was the year that the bond was passed to construct the newest building on Sycamore. It later opened in 1993.
A typical day for Jennifer is very busy. On the day of the interview, she said that at the beginning of the day, there was a management team meeting, then she met with the architect and Board Chair about the...