The staff of the Huntington Branch Library celebrated 25 years of holding child friendly programs and service designed to get residents excited about reading on Jan. 6.
To commemorate the two-and-a-half decades of service, the staff created a display showing collected clips of newspaper articles featuring photos from specific events from over the years.
Mayor Mark Lauretti was unavailable for the event, but Branch Director Martia Austin read a proclamation dedicated to the library in his name.
The document provided by the mayor acknowledged the library’s Branch Directors over the past 25 years Jerry Roberts, Shawn Fields and incumbent Martia Austin.
In Lauretti’s proclamation to the library he congratulated the staff on all of its success and said he has no doubt that it will continue for years to come.
Austin said she began working at the library six months after it opened in 1992 and she’s loved every moment of it. In 1992, the library contained 6,462 items and after the first year the amount more than doubled to 14,968. Today’s inventory includes more than 40,000 items available for public use.
“It’s changed a lot. We started with VHS, audio cassettes, and of course books, but now we offer even more books, ebooks, MP3 players, more computers and Blu Ray DVD’s,” said Austin. “One thing that hasn’t changed is how important the community is to what we work to accomplish.”
When asked what her favorite part about working in the library is, Austin responded quickly by saying, “The people.”
“We’re a tight-knit family here who all want to provide a place where people can bring their kids to participate in activities that will stimulate them or just to use the internet or checkout a book,” said Austin. “I don’t think I would still be doing this if it wasn’t for the people,” said Austin. “Staff is great and it’s always a pleasure to come to work.”
With the development of technology and people’s use of the internet, Austin admits that there’s a large number of people in the community who no longer use the library, but they truly value the relationships they’ve built with the families who do still use it.
“The people who are library users whether that means they’re coming in for a book, to use the internet or participate in a program, I like to think that we’re an educational and recreational resource for families. We often begin to see kids frequently come into the library before they can walk and have even been around to see them come back in as adults. It’s really a satisfying to see that continuity.”