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Library spotlight: new faces at the circulation desk

By JEN BOUTIN 

Boyle County Public Library

Walk through the doors at the Boyle County Public Library on any given day and you’ll find people attending programs, working on puzzles, using computers, perusing bookshelves and playing games. During the last fiscal year, the library offered 1,300 programs. 

Over the course of 12 months, more than 23,000 people attended the various events, creating a vibrant atmosphere in the library. With so many activities going on, things would often get a little hectic, especially for the staff at the main circulation desk.

The circulation desk is maintained by the circulation staff. The day-to-day functions of the department is overseen by Circulation Manager Kathy Phillips, a long-time library employee who seems to know everyone who walks through the library doors. For most patrons, circulation desk staff are the first people they see when they arrive at the library, and they are the first people patrons go to when they have a question, comment or concern. Those who work at the desk need to be knowledgeable, helpful and welcoming to all visitors, as well as being good at multitasking. 

A typical day at “circ” (library slang for the circulation desk) includes some duties one would expect, like checking in and out items, answering questions and shelving books. They also come up with monthly book displays and keep the new book displays full at all times. If patrons need to have something faxed or notarized, the circ staff can help. Patrons interested in borrowing materials not available in the local library collection can request materials from other libraries through Inter-Library Loan, a service also available at circ. Circulation staff also listen to patron needs and wants. Sometimes patrons just need someone to talk to, and the circ staff are willing to lend an ear. 

Kelley Eads and Diane Parr were recently hired as part-time public service assistants. They join the circulation department, which includes Phillips, Kay Cunningham and Carol Spielman. While Eads and Parr can usually be found at the circulation desk, they also help in the children’s department when needed. 

Eads, who originally hails from Garrard County, is a recent college graduate from Western Kentucky University where she studied history and cultural anthropology. She enjoys reading fantasy books, and her “most recent” favorite book was “City of Brass” by S. A. Chakraborty. 

“I am excited to be here at the library because I get to work with the community and a wide range of people,” Eads says. “There are many ways I want to best serve the library patrons, but number one is to just make sure their visit is pleasant and welcoming, no matter who they are.” 

Parr, like Eads, works primarily at the circulation desk. Originally from Elizabethtown, she spent the last three years in Virginia, where she “fell in love with working at libraries” while serving as the branch manager of a small rural library in Rockville, Virginia. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Louisville and has a wide range of hobbies, including knitting and yarn spinning, record collecting and playing board games. While she prefers to read philosophy books, such as Kierkegaard and Descartes, she enjoys reading fiction as well. When she wound up back in Kentucky, working at a library was a natural choice. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting the patrons and staff at BCPL,” Parr says. “I enjoy helping people immensely.”  

 

Phillips has many positive things to say about the addition of Eads and Parr to the circulation staff, including how fast they are at learning new things. “They are pleasant to be around and have great initiative,” Phillips says, all of which are very useful qualities to have when working at circ.

Additional information about library resources and services can be found on the library’s website, www.BoylePubLib.org.