Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library (CRCPL) is always making improvements to its locations. Usually, that means new paint, floors, or shelving — little changes that help keep the buildings safe, looking fresh, and up-to-date. Sometimes, however, bigger projects pop up. That’s where we find ourselves in Kingston.
History | The Village of Kingston has had a library since at least 1936 when a WPA Deposit Collection was established. It joined CRCPL in 1968 when Ross County and the Chillicothe libraries consolidated. Since 1957, the library had been located at 17 N. Main St., but last year (for safety concerns) moved to a temporary location just up Main St. at the corner of County Line Road.
Greek Revival Building | The first floor of the handsome 1846 building was last renovated in 1988 (the second floor, due to a lack of an elevator, is unusable space). During the renovation, hundreds of bricks were replaced in the front facade. A few years later, an attempt was made to reconstitute the remaining old bricks, but wasn’t successful. The original bricks have continued to deteriorate. A few months ago an upstairs window fell out of its casement due to the sinking sandstone foundation. The walls and flooring are moving away from each other. About 5 years ago, the roof was struck by lightning, causing further damage; the entire roof system needs replaced.
Information Gathering | The move to 89 N. Main is a temporary solution. On Wednesday, June 13, the CRCPL Board of Trustees is hosting a public meeting to gather input from the Kingston community about what type of library (needs/wants/wish list) will best serve the area. Your insight about facilities and services is greatly appreciated. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and kids’ activities will be provided so parents can participate in the meeting, too.
Meet the Staff | CRCPL is committed to keeping a library in Kingston and to continue providing excellent customer service. Our friendly staff are always willing to help. We asked Tracy and Amy a few questions to help you get to know them even better.
What experience, character trait, or education prepared you the most for becoming a librarian?
AMY: Empathy. Long story short, when I was 19, I was homeless in southern California where I went hungry many times. That year of experiences gave me more empathy for others than I’d ever had before. Years later, after earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Business, the doors started opening for my desire to do Social Work – eventually leading me here. As a librarian, I also definitely call on my years working at the substance abuse and mental health residential clinic. The knowledge of how to understand and relate to others suffering from addiction or mental health illness has been priceless. Another past career that has helped me in the Librarian World was Recreational Programmer for WVDNR (State Parks). I was mostly in charge of senior citizen lodge events and grew to cherish our elders even more.
TRACY: I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Life Science and an Associate Degree in Animal Health. I worked as an Animal Health Technician for 18 years, as an elementary school librarian for 15 years, as a check writer, and worked in a graphics store. All that life experience helps me to find the answers to the many questions I am asked daily. I also love to read and enjoy talking to the patrons about different books they have read.
What do you like the most about your job?
AMY: The chance to earn the feeling that I’m making a positive difference (even just a tiny one) in people’s lives (especially kids) and trying to be a bright spot in our elderly patrons’ day.
TRACY: The variety of each day and the ability to learn something new every day.
What do you like the most about libraries?
AMY: That we are a fun, free, safe, caring, educational haven for all.
TRACY: All the books. I have always loved going to the library and just looking at all the books.
What is one of the more memorable surprises you’ve had while working at the library?
AMY: I had a special patron and her daughter bring me a huge handful of the prettiest hollyhocks late last summer. The two arrived at the library red-faced, breathless and giggling, and as I fussed over the lovely gift “Mom” told me they “just kinda found” them on their way there and it was no big deal. The second time she relayed the story a bit more truth slipped out – including the fact that their 96 year-old neighbor lady came banging out her back door, hollering “Get out of here! What are you doing?! Stop that!!!” At this point “Daughter” starts giggling all over again – and I had to turn my head away for a minute to do the same.
TRACY: When a patron and her granddaughter brought me flowers for my birthday.
AMY: The Wind in the Willows and Beetlejuice. I’ve worn my VCR tape and DVD copies out by pausing everywhere to capture my dream home – that perfectly gorgeous old farmhouse (before the crazy lady “remuddles” it).
Favorite guiding quote?
AMY: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
TRACY: “Así es la vida.”