Every week, readers glimpse into the minds of the writers behind Library Lines. You read about books the library offers, upcoming events, and sometimes even our passions. You might even see the picture of the writer of the article. Frequent library visitors get to know the staff of their “favorite” library branch, but if you haven’t visited the public libraries in a little while you may see some new faces. I think a reintroduction to library staff is long overdue, so without further ado, meet your Avon Park Public Library staff.
The “fearless” leader of this crew is Vikki Brown, and the writer of this article, a graduate of the University of South Florida with a Master’s in Library and Information Science. From the young age of 12, all things library related have been my passion. My favorite library jobs include ordering new materials for patrons, helping people find that perfect book, and cataloging (fancy word for putting all the new stuff in the library system). When I am not busy working in the library, I of course enjoy reading. I do not have a favorite genre, but a few of my favorite genres/topics to read include young adult fantasy, historical fiction (specifically WWII and Holocaust related), and children’s books. My favorite book of all time is “Anne of Green Gables,” by L.M. Montgomery. I also enjoy activities with close friends and family, eating new and yummy food, exploring nature, practicing photography and going to the beach.
Another library face is library assistant Kim Stone. Kim previously worked in education and has 30 years experience as an educator. She loves helping patrons with any need, and won’t rest until she has either exhausted all options or has completed the task. She, of course, also loves to read (off the clock, obviously). Fiction books are her favorite, with “Where the Red Fern Grows,” by Wilson Rawls, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens, and “Christy,” by Catherine Marshall topping the list. Kim is an outdoor enthusiast and has fun kayaking, hiking, and going to the beach. Fun fact about Kim is that she previously worked in a zoo.
Our newest face at the Avon Park branch, but not new to the system, is Megan Lancaster, also a library assistant. She may hail from the land of the Sebring branch, but she is an Avon Park resident through and through. Megan also has previously worked in the school system in a multi-age classroom and in the school library incorporating S.T.E.A.M. activities with books. Helping others is something Megan enjoys and gets to do that daily by assisting patrons on the computer and finding books to enjoy reading. Megan is also responsible for some of the displays in the library, and has tremendous fun with these projects. When not working with us, she enjoys reading all types of books, but specifically children’s picture books, non-fiction, and young adult fiction. Three of her favorite books include “Stargirl,” by Jerry Spinelli, “Hidden Figures,” by Margot Lee Shetterly, and the picture book, “Penguin and Pinecone.” When not reading or working, you can find Megan running, coloring, or spending time with her family and friends.
Another smiling face you will see is Patti Randall. Patti actually began working for the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners in 1989 as a switchboard operator. Later she would go on to work positions for Fire Services, the EOC, and back again to the switchboard. Patti is a phenomenal asset and loves assisting patrons with any needs, but will do anything to help staff out as well. Her favorite book and movie is “Gone with the Wind”, but also enjoys watching the HGTV channel. When she isn’t helping staff and patrons, you can find her walking, making jewelry, going to the beach, and spending time with her grandsons.
We also have some amazing volunteers that assist library staff with all of our daily needs and special event planning. These volunteers help make Avon Park Public Library a complete team. Gary is a regular volunteer and helps us keep the items shelved and organized. He loves volunteering wherever he can, not just in the library. When he isn’t helping the community, he reads and enjoys books by John Grisham and Richard Paul Evans. Another volunteer we have is Sally, previously a volunteer of Avon Park Friends of the Library. She spends much of her time with us shelving books, but also assisting patrons and checking in items, but her favorite thing to do is any of the special projects that need to be accomplished. When she’s not volunteering at the many places she helps, you can find her reading. Two of her favorite authors include Michael Connelly and Teri Blackstock. The last, but not least volunteer we have blessing us each week is Aidan. Aidan has been assisting us in completing an inventory of all of the items in our library. When Aidan isn’t helping the library, he’s busy as a high school student taking college classes and playing sports. When time allows, he enjoys reading books by Rick Riordan and books on Greek and Roman Mythology.
We’d be lost without our Friends of the Avon Park Public Library. They work hard in the Friends of the Library store Tuesday through Saturday to ensure we can host all of the fun activities and events at the library. The hard work of these volunteers is what funds