Getting to know... a small town librarian
Monday, May 19, 2014 12:03 AM
BY JIM LANGHAM
WILLSHIRE — For small town librarian Rose Mowery, reading and sharing books has been a way of life. One of her favorite memories of childhood is that of checking out books at the library just down the street from her in her hometown of Spencerville.
“I have always been very interested in books,” said Mowery. “I needed a job. On a whim, I applied for this library job. Six months later they called me for an interview and I was hired.
“I trained at the Brumback Library in Van Wert for six months. When the lady in Willshire retired, they offered that to me,” added Mowery.
That was on Jan. 2, 2007, seven years ago. Two years later, she also took on the responsibility of librarian in Wren, giving her a “circuit” of two libraries which she continues to serve on an alternating basis.
One of Mowery’s biggest concerns initially was learning how to use the computer. “I had to learn the system and how to get into it,” said Mowery. “I had to learn how to check into it and how to check out of it. Eventually, I learned it.”
Mowery said that when she was offered the Willshire job, she was overjoyed because it reminded her of the small town library in Spencerville, where she graduated from high school in 1971. “The library was right downtown,” observed Mowery. “My mom never drove. My girlfriend and I would walk to the library and check out books.
“I’m a reader; my daughter is a reader, my three grandchildren are readers,” continued Mowery. “My sister and cousin love to read. My husband has started reading again.”
Mowery said that one of her granddaughters has been the top reader in her class at Lincolnview and was presented an academic achievement award for her reading as a member of the eighth grade class there.
When asked what drives Mowery to take her librarian work so seriously, she replied, “It’s the people and the children. I have a background in pre-school and worked at pre-school. This job just fits me.”
Mowery said that one of the perks of being a librarian is being the first to preview the new books that come in. She often puts a book aside to read over it before putting it on the shelf.
One of the stimulating reasons for working in Wren is the Wren Book Club, Mowery said.
“I read what they read; then when club members came in, I talk to them about the book they are reading right then,” continued Mowery. Mowery’s two small town libraries have everything these days that are present in larger metropolitan libraries, computers, printer, Internet, CD’s and all the other amenities of the modern world.
Mowery particularly enjoys puppets so she has a puppet display at both libraries which can also be checked out. “In summer, I have a summer reading program. I have things for them to do that makes it fun to come to the library during the summer,” noted Mowery. “This is a lot of responsibility but I love it,” continued Mowery. “There’s cleaning and upkeep of the buildings and security of the two buildings.” Sometimes people come in and just talk to her. That is her “listening time,” said Mowery. She never tries to give advice but she is willing to listen to young people who sometimes want to share with her.
“I think I have found my niche,” noted Mowery. “And if somebody checks out a popular book in Wren, I always have another one in Willshire. That’s the nice thing about having two libraries to take care of.”