No need for shushing at Rangely Regional Library

Rangely Regional Library storyteller Rita Reich works together with librarian Amorette Hawkins to bring the love of reading to Rangely's children and families. Rangely Library | Photo

RANGELY | Kids love it. Adults love it.
Rangely Regional Library is a staple in the community and Amorette Hawkins has been working for 13 years to make it place of imagination and wonder.
Some of the programs offered are the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the summer reading program and Storytime at 10 a.m. every Tuesday. The summer reading program is a collaborative national reading program usually held from May through July/Aug. The library also participates in Rangely’s Night at Hogwarts, a local Harry Potter themed event. If you are in need of proctor testing, Hawkins is a certified proctor and does not charge for it.
Hawkins is a Rangely native. Her grandparents were Les and Ila Powell, some of Rangely’s earliest settlers. She was working at the college when the position became available and it was a great opportunity. The position offered a unique challenge and she grew to love it. Originally, she wanted to be a teacher and the library is a wonderful place for her to be. Organization is one of her strengths.
The library isn’t a part of the “shhh” stigma, due to Hawkins hard work.

Rangely Library Photo

“I blew the doors right off the place,” she said. Rangely Regional Library is well utilized, and a lot of that has to do with the atmosphere that has been created with Hawkins and her wonderful co-workers. She wants people to feel comfortable when they come in. Kids are invited to come in and play. She brought in goats and chickens once. Hawkins has a genuine love for kids and the community.
Together with Rita Reich, they make story time exciting for the little ones who rush through the doors every Tuesday. Reich actively engages the children and costumes, books and snacks are all draws to come to storytime. Reich also visits the kindergarten classes. Board members work with Hawkins and her coworkers and she is grateful that they are open to her ideas and supportive. The library board is made up of Mike Morgan, Vicky Douglass, Sarah Ward, Sandy Payne and Sharon Ross.
A photograph of the library’s groundbreaking ceremony on the wall serves as a reminder to Hawkins of where the library started, the hard work people put in before her arrival, and what she wants to do to make the library better. She works to adapt to the times and bring people to enjoy the library.
The Summer Reading Carnival is for all people and all ages to enjoy and Hawkins hopes it sparks an interest in reading. Reading through the summer is something that can help start the school year off right. Book clubs also meet at the library from time to time.
When it comes to recreational reading, Hawkins has her own genre that she loves to read: biographies. But that does not stop her from researching books and figuring out what books work well with the community. She makes sure she gets books people will read and enjoy. Her research helps her recommend books to patrons they will enjoy and devour. The books she brings in are not always from the bestsellers list since they may not fit well in Rangely. She knows books that are checked out in print might not always be checked out from the audio section and is constantly mindful as she does her book orders.
She dreams one day the library could get a bigger building and add rooms for studying, rooms for music and other things to bring more people in. A bigger children’s space is on the list as well.
“I just want people to know how thankful I am to be a part of this and how wonderful I think the library is and we are always trying to outdo ourselves,” Amorette said with a smile.
Visit Rangely Regional Library and say hello to the folks behind the counter. Ask for recommendations and check out some books.

By Brittny Campos | Special to the Herald Times

1 Comment

  1. My mother, the late Lillian Bailey, is one of the people pictured breaking ground in the photo that is mentioned on the Library wall, if it is the one I think it is. She was a life-long voracious reader and lover of libraries, and she would have enjoyed hearing about how these two ladies are making the Rangely Library thrive. Bravo!

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