Kristin Haddock has been hired as the new library manager, replacing Martha Stalker, who retired earlier this year.
Although new to the job, Haddock is not new to the community, having served at the Sapulpa Library for six years, and before that he was Mounds Library Manager for 8 years and the only employee.
Coming to Sapulpa was a bit of an adjustment from Mounds, Haddock said. “The staff is a big plus here. The difference is that you have more room. At Mounds, you can view the entire library from my office. And we don’t have the big rush of kids here like we did in Mounds, because the library was right next to the park, and the school was only two blocks away.
There may not be an after-school rush, but that doesn’t mean kids aren’t visiting the library.
“We have a free movie every third Tuesday of every month, and it’s free and we serve popcorn and drinks, and then we also have story time on Tuesdays and we usually do a story in the craft . And then we’re going to put we’re going to start the ‘adult’ courses and it’s for teenagers for young adults.
These “Adulting 101” courses are perfect for high school and college students looking for a job or trying to learn how to prepare for the “real world”.
For adults, there is a book club which will resume in February. Haddock says they will read and discuss a time travel science fiction book called “Kindred,” by Octavia Butler. “The main character is in the present time and returns to the time when his ancestors were slaves. She is related to one of her ancient ancestors and whenever he gets in trouble or something, she is brought back to him. She may be gone for a day or a month, but when she returns to the present, it’s only been a few minutes. But she never knows when it will happen.
The book should be a series on FX, which is why they’re into it now. “I’ve never read anything by her before, but I really liked the book.”
Along with the usual events, Haddock plans to beef up security and expand its presence throughout the building. “With the ARPA grant that we received, we were able to put more technology in the library. We have security cameras that have been installed outside, so if someone is injured, we can see if something happens.
One of the other big changes coming is the plan to move staff from the back office to other parts of the library. “The children’s librarian will be transferred to the children’s department, and one of our circulation clerks will be in the circulation desk when you first walk in,” she said. “We want more outreach to customers coming in, so that we’re not all huddled together here, and instead we’re out there with the customers and more accessible to them.”
It’s no surprise that with the advent of the Internet and the ubiquity of computers and cell phones, libraries simply don’t have the community presence they once did. But that doesn’t mean you should count them completely, Haddock says.
“We have an increase with homeschooled children and a lot of Epic Charter school children here. We have a lot of people coming from Social Security, who don’t have internet at home, they’re applying for jobs, and especially with COVID going on, and DHS being closed, they’ve been working online through their phones , but you can’t do much on your phone.
Haddock says libraries aren’t changing, technologically. “A lot of libraries are changing the way their collection works to more digital,” she says. “We have digital access to books and movies, and we also invest a lot in our DVD collection because a lot of people come for them when they can’t afford Netflix and all the streaming apps. You can stream it on your phone, but it could use all your data.”
Sapulpa Library uses software like Overdrive and Libby to let cardholders borrow eBooks just like they would a regular book — and yes, there’s an expiration date, just like a regular book, except that instead of having to physically drop off the book, it’s just deleted from the reader’s tablet or phone. “You can check five at a time,” says Haddock. “You will receive an alert that your book is about to disappear, and you can either renew it or let it go.” Like most other things, there are no fees associated with digital book verification.
Looks like the library is not just back, but here to stay.