Members of the public heading into the St. Jacobs library will be greeted by a new smiling face as Susan Letkeman has been hired as the new assistant supervisor of the branch.
She started the new position last week, replacing Patrick Gibbons who retired this past August after spending five years at the library.
“She’s fabulous. She just wants to get out into the community and reach people and bring them into the library,” said Sheryl Tilley, supervisor of the Woolwich Township branches of the Region of Waterloo Library.
“She’s doing a lot to build on the work of her predecessor at the Three Bridges School, which is predominantly a Mennonite school, and she will be liaising with the principal there,” added Tilley.
Letkeman brings a world of experience to the position in St. Jacobs. She was born and raised to missionary parents in Columbia, South America and attended American and Canadian schools there before leaving to complete her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education at the University of Michigan at the age of 17.
She came to Canada 19 years ago and moved to Woolwich Township two years later. She was a kindergarten teacher in the 1990s as well as worked with special needs children before joining the library profession.
She began her work at the Region of Waterloo Library in March of 2009 at the Elmira, Bloomingdale and St. Jacobs branches, and looks forward to continuing that work in her new position.
“I love it here,” she said of working at the St. Jacobs library. “I had worked at this branch occasionally whenever I filled in for Patrick. I love the community and I’m excited to be here.”
She said her first goal is to get to know the community and the people living in it and what their needs are from the library. She hopes to promote all the good things people can experience at their local library beyond simply the books they see on the shelves.
“A lot of people see this cute little building, but there is so much more we can do for them that they don’t know,” she said, citing the thousands of DVDs she has access too in the library’s database, ranging from TV shows to documentaries.
“They’re not all sitting in the branch, but I can get them from across Ontario and even Canada.’
She also wants to promote other services at the library such as e-books, homework help for students, audio books and even research databases compiled by top experts in their fields that can be trusted.
She is also launching a pre-school storytime in October and is taking registration for spots now.
“I love people and working with adults and children,” she said. “If you come in and are looking for something, I like digging around until I can find the answer or the resource you’re looking for. It’s a job, but it’s also fun.”