STANFORD — The Lincoln County Public Library is beginning a new chapter with a new director.
Amanda Gearhart took over as library director June 4. As a transplant from Western Pennsylvania who moved to Stanford two days before starting her new job, she's still getting her bearings, but said she already likes it in Lincoln County.
Gearhart said she's been pleasantly surprised to see how much the library is already being used. Libraries often get busy in the summer once their summer reading programs start up, but Lincoln's library is already busy even before its summer reading program begins, she said.
Before moving to Kentucky, Gearhart was director of Kittanning Public Library in Pennsylvania for six years. While at the Kittanning library, she automated its circulation system, remodeled the children's section and oversaw increased children's programming using grant funding.
"I've planned a lot of programs in my time," she said.
Prior to Kittanning, Gearhart at Ford City Public Library, where she began as an assistant librarian in 2001 before being promoted to director in 2003.
Gearhart said she sees libraries as having a very wide and important role in their communities. Everyone, from students to senior citizens, should get something from their library, she said.
"I feel very strongly that the library is a part of everything in the community," she said. "I think every library should work to meet the needs of its community."
Gearhart said in her previous director positions, she worked to make her libraries destinations for children and their families.
"I think the library should participate in attracting people to the area," she said.
Gearhart is glad the Lincoln library already has an outreach position. She's also excited to get more people using the library's community room, and she's pondering the possibilities for a currently unfinished room on the second floor.
Her two children, Aiden, 8, and Cheyenne, 11, will be attending Stanford Elementary and Lincoln Middle School in the fall.
Gearhart said she doesn't think she'll miss Pennsylvania winters, but hopes there's some snow for her son, who really likes it.
As library director in Pennsylvania, Gearhart helped organize all kinds of programming, from programs for little kids to gardening events and history lectures. Whatever her communities were interested in doing, that's what she wanted to provide.
"That's what I'm hoping to do here, too," she said.
SO YOU KNOW
The Lincoln County Public Library's summer reading program for children from Kindergarten through sixth grade begins 10 a.m. Monday in the Library's community room.