California Area Public Library director details future plans

The California Public Library invites everyone to stop by and say hello to the new Director/Librarian, Kristen Diethorn.

New CAPL Director/Librarian, Kristen Diethorn.

The California Public Library invites everyone to stop by and say hello to the new Director/Librarian, Kristen Diethorn.

Diethorn first learned about the position from the Board President.

“She told me about the job and I applied,” Diethorn said.

Diethorn’s background in history, education, and her Certification in Secondary Education Social-Studies, prepared her for her responsibilities as California’s new librarian.

“Studying both degrees and the experiences I had during those times helped me prepare for working at the library. Even though I’m working in a library, I’m still teaching every time I’m here. I’m teaching patrons how to use computers, teaching children and young adults how to find books, etc.,” she said.

The library’s Summer Reading Program kicks off June 6. One scheduled field trip is a farm tour of Spring House in Eighty Four, Pa., where students will have the opportunity to learn about dairy farms and cows. Other outings will also take place, specifically around the Brownsville area.

The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Program is “On your mark, get set, read!” The library will offer story selections based on this particular theme, as well as activities designed to encourage children to go outside and move around.

“We have some great outdoor space at the library and I’m excited to utilize it this summer,” Diethorn said.

Diethorn is planning to start a quilting/fiber arts group for beginners and advanced quilters. She is working on the library offering an introductory French class which will focus on French conversation and culture. The teacher Diethorn selected has a degree in French and education, lived in France for a year where he taught high school. Diethorn is working on developing programs for adults and children as well trying to start programs aimed at the community’s young adults.

“I’m still working to develop these programs and fine tune them. I’m very excited to start having programs and events here that will draw people to the library so they can see what we have to offer,” she said.

California Area Public Library hosts Children’s Story Time every Tuesday at 10 a.m. with Ellen and alsoon two Saturdays a month where children actively engage in the story to enrich their reading comprehension. Each story time also features crafts, activities and snacks. Check the library’s Facebook page regularly for updates.

“I feel that FB is a great way to increase the library’s exposure and help people who may only see us as a place to borrow books [to see us] as so much more.  We have patrons in every day using the computer, we have families come and play in the children’s room and read, we offer access to e-books and audio-books, and [we] provide copying and faxing to citizens who may not have the capability.”

According to Diethorn, the library’s Facebook presence has created positive attention for the library and people are realizing libraries are an active part of the community

“I want the library to be a welcome place for the people of our community and [to] have the library respond to and meet the needs of the community,” Diethorn said. “This is a challenging job, but I love it. I am a reader, so this is a good fit for me. What more could I ask for than to be surrounded by books all day?”

Story by Aaron Dalzell for Pennsylvania Bridges