Smith named new BPL Youth Services Coordinator

CL 29 child librarian

Honor Smith is the new Children’s Librarian at the Bridgton Public Library.

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

The Bridgton Public Library has hired a new Youth Services Coordinator after a two-month vacancy in the position. She is Honor Smith, a self-described “constant patron” of library services both here and elsewhere.

“We’re constant patrons of several libraries. It’s always been a part of life,” Smith said Friday, a week after assuming the 20-hour-per-week position. Originally from Portland, Smith and her husband Matthew are Bridgton residents who’ve made regular use of the library to enrich the life of their young daughter.

She has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Printmaking, and while this is her first time working in a library, she is well-acquainted with its services. Moreover, she firmly believes in the power of books, so much so that she read to her daughter in utero, and from infancy on.

“Books touch every aspect of a child’s development — cognitively, visually,” said Smith. She is looking forward to maintaining and adding to the library’s collection of books and other media for children, from infants to young adults.

Children’s services at the library underwent transition a year ago when its space was relocated upstairs to become more integrated with the rest of the library. The move had its critics, but there was no drop in use by children; in fact, use by children and young adults has increased over last year, said Librarian Holly Hancock.

“It’s just a different space,” Hancock said, that has allowed reference and technology services to be consolidated in the former children’s space downstairs. The restructuring was the result of a two-year study of how services at the library were being utilized, said Hancock.

Having the children’s services on the main floor has definite advantages, said Hancock, in that “The kids are a part of the whole library,” encouraged to “be free to be themselves” as they interact with all of its staff.

Smith is in the early stages of formulating her plans for expanding children’s programming. Currently, Bridgton Library offers two children’s programs: Mother Goose Time, on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., and Holly the Reading Dog, on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Previous programs on nutrition, photography, writing and other subjects will be considered, and she plans to work closely with the library’s Information Technology resource person, Ron Traikovich, to integrate computers and digital technology into children’s services.

“I want to make sure that the kids have new, fresh resources,” Smith said. “I want to provide a fun, warm, inviting place for little ones and young adults.”

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