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Library welcomes new librarian

DAILY LEADER / KATIE WILLIAMSON / Kasie Eckman stands in the children's section of the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library on Oct. 14.

DAILY LEADER / KATIE WILLIAMSON / Kasie Eckman stands in the children’s section of the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library on Oct. 14.

The Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library System is known for having a welcoming and energetic children’s library.

Since the recent retirement of former librarian Donna Kennedy, a bright new face has joined the crew. Kasie Eckman joined the staff Sept. 11 and is working to find her own way as the new children’s librarian.

“I couldn’t think of a better environment to come into,” said Eckman. “I love Brookhaven. It’s a good community to be a part of. I’m excited that I landed here.”

Eckman is originally from McComb, so she has been familiar with Brookhaven since childhood. She studied English at the University of Mississippi and after graduation was not sure what she wanted to do.

“I knew I didn’t want to teach, so after googling some stuff I found librarian and thought yeah, that works. I looked at the job market and thought I could do this, and I never looked back. After I started school, I loved it.”

Eckman studied Library Sciences at Louisiana State University with an emphasis in archives. She has had some experience with children from her days in Girl Scouts but was a little nervous about being a children’s librarian at first.

“Everybody here is really supportive of the library,” said Eckman. “Ms. Donna helped me out a lot training me. It’s easier than I thought it would be. I am getting used to having to be around kids and people all the time.”

Since Kenney’s retirement, Eckman has completely taken over the responsibilities of children’s section.

“This is the second week of full-time story time by myself,” said Eckman. “The kids will come in, and they actually remember me, and they are excited about story time. I didn’t think that would happen that quickly.”

Eckman said she is still looking for her own style in the children’s section. She said she grew up with a McComb librarian who was bubbly and always smiling and met Kenny who was an imaginative story-teller and entertainer.

“I’m not really any of those things. I don’t know really know what I’m going to do. I’ve been thinking about that,” said Eckman. “I’m looking forward to having a signature that makes the kids excited to come here.”

Eckman is looking to reach out the older group of youth in the community. The library is renovating the front to include a young adult section, and Eckman has already begun picking out teen and young adult books to add to the library’s collection.

“I get it, as a teen, I’m not saying I would go to the library unless I had to check out books,” said Eckman. “I know it’s not the coolest thing to do, but I at least want to make them comfortable with it and maybe getting them to read.”

Eckman said she wants to be able to follow the children as they grow by helping with research papers and possibly adding test prep classes to the library in the future.

“I want to outreach to different types of readers and get stuff they like and do what ever it takes to get them interested. It’s nerve wrecking with teenagers, but we’re going to try, ” Eckman said.