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Campbell is new DeWitt librarian

DeWitt Era-Enterprise of DeWitt, Arkansas

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Pansy Campbell admits she'll have some big shoes to fill at the DeWitt Public Library.

"I wouldn't "Rave this position if it weren't for | retired librarian Gini Piatt]" Campbell said of her promotion to head librarian. "I want to buildon what she started."

Plait, DeWitt's first professional librarian, retired Jan. 1. Last week the Arkansas County Southern District Library Board selected Campbell to take her place. Campbell does not come from a professional library background, but she has been a library patron for many, many years. It all began when she was in middle school. "I used to walk right past herejust like the kids do today," Campbell said. One day she decided to come in and never stopped. But six years ago she moved from patron to employee.

"One day |Piatt] approached me, "aboulajob, "and I accepted," Campbell said.

Since coming to work at the library, her favorite project has been children's programs, particularly "Story Time."

"Story Time is Pansy's baby," she said. The program goes far beyond reading stories tochildren and has often brought in guest readers and speakers from the See community. These have included police, fire fighters andeven Santa Claus.Thechildrenal so goon trips to places like the Senior Citizens' Center and the fire department. The South Arkansas Animal Control program will be featured next month.

Campbell said it was too early to talkaboutspecificchanges.butshe wants to "work hard on improvements and upgrades," that will keep older patrons coming, but also make younger patrons more comfortable. Her most immediate goal is to "get the community more involved." One of the ways to do that, Campbell said, is to "encourage clubs to meet here and use the facilities."

Young readers are one of the most important audiences, Campbell said. Many students come lo the library looking for books for the Accelerated Reader program. "They want the skinniest ones they can find," she said. "I tell them to try a fat one; they'll get more points."

Campbell hopes to get more involvement from some of the older youth groups such as the 4H and Girl Scouts, but will keep working to get readers started early.

"If lean get the little ones interested, they'll continue to come to the library."

Copyright 2012 DeWitt Era-Enterprise, DeWitt, Arkansas. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 19, 2012

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