New children’s librarian starts

NILES — The McKinley Memorial Library recently named Marietta native Olivia Jones its new children’s librarian.

Jones, who officially started in January, will oversee both youth and children’s services and programs at the library.

She said she decided to become a children’s librarian because she loves both reading and spending time with children.

“I remember when I was about 6 or 7 and reading books to my younger sister. Since then, I have been reading books to children, so when it came time to pick a career a librarian seemed like a pretty good choice for me,” Jones said.

Prior to coming to Niles, Jones worked as the children’s librarian for one year in Bellaire. She also worked for a small community college library.

She said she was interested in the local opening since the library was associated with a president.

“I like the history connected to this library. It will be fun to work for a memorial library to a president,” Jones said.

Jones received a bachelor’s degree in English from Ohio Valley University and a master’s in library science from Kent State University.

She said she looks forward to this year’s centennial celebration of the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial and the many opportunities to celebrate the milestone, which includes the children’s summer reading program with the theme ”Build a Better World.”

The summer children’s programs will focus on keeping students motivated to read during vacation, develop positive attitudes about books, participate in age-appropriate and family friendly programs as well as think about the future and taking care of the planet.

“We are looking forward to the celebration. Many of the patrons are looking forward to the activities and programs,” Jones said.

She said the children enjoy the youth programs, like Lego Club and special programs that feature Minecraft, which are offered through the children’s department.

In March, the library will show the movie ”20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and also will participate in the countywide reading initiative ”One Book, One Community” to encourage and celebrate reading through conversations and events related to one book.

Jones’ duties will include working with Hannah Gillespie, who handles the teen events at the library as part of the youth and children’s programming services.

“She and I are the main people to handle youth events,” Jones said. “Because we are a smaller library, everyone knows one another and helps each other.”

Jones said she also likes that many programs for local children are offered at the McKinley Birthplace Home and Research Center, which is a popular attraction for the Niles area. Classes are held in the lower basement level, which includes an activity room for Saturday morning and weekly children’s programs.

Jones said people will always have the desire to read books.

”There will always be a need for books and magazines. The library will always provide materials to people. It is just that those materials may change as some are available online and others in book and paper form, she said.

Jones said regardless of the format people prefer their materials, the library always will be able to progress and provide its patrons a service.