I’ll start by introducing myself officially: I’m Samma Johnson and I’m the new director! I grew up and went to high school in Augusta before attending UW-Stout. I worked at the Augusta Public Library for nearly 8 years as an assistant librarian. In that time, I ran many programs for a variety of ages. In particular, I’m rather proud of the work I did creating the board game collection at Augusta as well as making suggestions for the Graphic Novel collections there. I also was part of a team of 16 librarians who participated in an Inclusive Services Institute, where we created a surveying tool for libraries and boards to use, gauging their inclusive practices. It was a great experience getting to work with other librarians at different levels and from around the state.
When I’m not being a librarian, I enjoy reading (surprise, surprise!), watching TV, and writing. In fact, I also volunteer with an organization called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) as a Municipal Liaison. This past fall, I began co-directing Augusta High School’s One Act Play team. In the summer, I clean headstones at Augusta’s East Lawn Cemetery and do 2 Cemetery Walks a year, visiting notable people from Augusta’s past. I stay pretty busy! But, that’s me in a nutshell, so to speak.
It’s been about a month since I took over from Katelyn. In that time, I’ve gotten to know several of our regular patrons, gotten (sort of) used to the lay out of things. And…made some changes. As every new director is probably wont to do. We always want to make the space a little more “our own” after all.
First, you might notice that the Non-Fiction books upstairs seem to have a little more room. That’s because I weeded. A LOT. I won’t say a number because I don’t want to give anyone heart palpitations, but needless to say…don’t look in our downstairs storage room (but be on the look-out for our next book sale)! All of the books I’ve deleted had not left the shelves in 3 years. The Teen books and all the DVDs were weeded with similar lists, although I feel that it’s a little less noticeable in those areas.
The biggest change (so far) is the Wisconsin History Collection. It is not gone. It is simply moved. You will now find them interspersed into the Non-Fiction area; particularly in 977.5. If you are looking for a particular title, you can search for it in the Catalog or ask a staff member for help.
In a library of our size, space is a commodity we need to take seriously and utilize to its fullest. You may notice some more shelving changes, items being moved to slightly different locations, better (and more consistent) sticker use, etc. I’m hoping this will not only help us to use our limited space to it’s potential, but also make it easier to find things.
Next, as we move into the holidays we at the library are encouraging The Gift of Reading. This year, there are two display areas for FREE BOOKS. We invite our patrons to take a free book from the giveaway displays each day they visit. There are a wide selection for children, teen, and a few adult titles as well. We also have Grab Bags for a suggested $5 donation.Some are already assembled, but if you’d like to select your own titles from our giveaway collection, please come chat with me.
Coming up this month we’ve got our Coffee and Coloring at 11 AM on Mondays. We are decorating Gingerbread Houses and Personalizing Mugs at 4 PM and 5 PM on Wednesday, December 12th. Our Book Club is meeting a Patti Price’s house for their annual pot luck and to discuss The Mars Room on Thursday, December 20th. If you require a copy of the book or need info on attending the meeting, just stop by.
I think that’s about it for this time! If you haven’t stopped in to say hello yet, please do. I’m still learning names and faces, so bare with me!