ONE DAY: Coming out of the pages

Published 11:41 am Monday, December 18, 2017

Days for Brittany Smith, outreach librarian at the Boyle County Public Library, can vary. Some days, she’s visiting different places in the county in the Lottie Ellis Bookmobile, sharing the driving with other library staff and volunteers.

“I do outreach programming in conjunction with the bookmobile. For example, I will go to a day care and allow teachers to check out books, or bring books based on their curriculum and we will do story time,” she said.

She hopes to build on that and set up a delivery service for teachers.

Kendra Peek/
Smith scans a book’s ISSN to bring up the history regarding how much it’s been checked out. She looks at reviews of books online, too, and uses all of that information to determine if the book should be considered for removal — one with a low checkout history that has been in the library for a while could find itself on the list.

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Smith has been working in libraries since 2012, after a short time teaching. She has a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in library science. This is her second year at the Boyle County Public Library.

“Working with kids at the library is more fun, more open … It’s nice in that way,” Smith said. “You can really focus on the people who want to be there.”

While on the bookmobile, Smith also visits some of those who are homebound; they are working to get an application set up for those who are homebound.

Smith’s been visiting John W. Bate Middle School on Fridays during a break to let students look at the books, trying to get the word out.

Smith even drove the bookmobile in the Danville Christmas parade this year.

Other days, Smith’s participating in community events, such as visiting A Children’s Place’s fall festival, where she shared with parents about the story time at the library.

She also attends the yearly Block Party held at Millennium Park, often giving away books there.

“They just fly,” Smith said.

She participates in various committees — the Community Early Childhood Council, for one. A big part of Smith’s job entails focusing on youth and young adults. She buys books for the young adult section, specifically.

“I’m really trying to focus on making it a solid young adult collection,” she said. “I think that it’s a really important demographic to serve and I’m always trying to find ways to get more involved with that group.”

Kendra Peek/
Brittany Smith arranges new young adult books near the front desk of the library.

She’s hoping to get more into the high schools. She has been buying more graphic novels, which has been gaining in interest recently, and has been filtering through the old Young Adult books at the library.

After attending a conference in Louisville, Smith has been trying to work on growing the books for those in the LGBTQ+ community and let people know the library is a safe space.

“I think I’m in an ideal position to do that in outreach,” Smith said.

She wants teens to know they can come hang out at the library — after the new year, Smith is helping start the Teen Gaming at BCPL, which will literally include bringing video games in for teenagers to come play.

“We are trying to find ways to get teens in here … I think being a positive influence on teens is so important,” she said.

The role of the library has changed, she said, from being a collector of information, to being a facilitator of information.

“I’m trying to find needs and meet them however I can,” Smith said. “I’m very anti-shusher. Please use this space. That’s my approach to library. This is a place to be used.”

Each day is a new challenge and a new opportunity to help people meet their goals, she said.

“I feel like I’m making a difference,” Smith said. “Finding those needs and meeting them is huge.”

Anyone with questions or suggestions for the Bookmobile, books or programming can email, or call or text (859) 209-1396. Or they can call the Boyle County Public Library at (859) 238-7323 (READ)