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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Getting to Know: Niki Moen - St. James Children's Librarian

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  • Niki Moen spends her days sharing her love of literature with children.
    Moen, 32, the children's librarian at the James Memorial Library, is settling in to her job, which she started in May 2013. We recently had the opportunity to learn a little more about Niki.
    What do you love most/least about your job?
    I take joy in many things about my work at the library but my focus is always the children. I love when the LWJ Elementary students come over for visits to the library; seeing their excited smiles when they walk in the doors makes my day every time. I relish the opportunity to introduce new reading materials to young people.
    Fostering a love of reading in the children of our community is one of the most important things that I do here at the library. I have a lot of fun with introducing the kids to new authors and different kinds of books. I enjoy encouraging them to expand their horizons and set free their imaginations through the wonderful world of books.
    What do you like most about living/working St. James?
    There are so many things to love about living and working in St James. The people here are welcoming and friendly to everyone they encounter, whether that person is a new community member or a tourist just passing through. I love how many things there are for young families to do in St James. My family and I enjoy fishing at Lake Scioto as well as Maramac Springs, in addition to swimming at the Tiger Shark Water Park and walking in the St James Park. All the events held at the library were enjoyed by my family, of course, as well as many other families in St James and the surrounding communities. The recreation center and the Sports Club activities are both wonderful additions to this well-rounded community. St James is a great place to work and a fantastic town in which to raise a family.
    What are some of your short-term/long-term professional goals?
    I would love to see an increase in our Story Time participation; I am still brainstorming ideas on how to get more kids to attend. Right now I am focusing most of my efforts on keeping up with student visits and preparing for our Summer Reading Program. I have started planning for our Summer Reading Program with the help of some of our library board members, who are also volunteers here. The SRP is a great program that encourages kids to continue reading throughout the summer by offering prizes for reading. After reading 4 hours, the child is given a ticket to put in a drawing for the prize of their choosing. Some of last year's prizes included gift cards, board games and a telescope. We have big goals for a phenomenal summer reading program this year. One of my long-term goals is to see the library returned to its former glory, as in the days of the Muller sisters and Betty Lu Hughes. The Old Album collection at the library showcases many events from previous years where the library was not only a source of information, but a social hub of the community. I would love to see the library become, once again, the amazing facility that Lucy Wortham James intended it to be: a source of joy and pride for our community.
    Page 2 of 2 - What did you want to be when you grew up?
    I never thought I would be a librarian but I love it more than I could have ever dreamed! I had so many dreams and aspirations as a child, but the one thing I remember most clearly is always knowing that whatever I did, I wanted to be helping people.
    What do you do to
    relax?
    I don't have much time to relax, between my work at the library and my family but I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my family and my friends; it always helps me to unwind!
    Who inspires you?
    Everyone who perseveres in the face of adversity.
    Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    I intend to be continuing my work at the library, with a bustling Children's Library that continues to serve the young people of St James and the surrounding communities for many years to come.
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