‘You never quite know what you’ll find at JCPL and I love it!’

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2022

Meet Children’s Program Coordinator Kate Irwin

Public libraries are important part of any community.

Jessamine County Public Library is a place folks can go not just to pick up the latest thriller novel, but much more — see page 3 to learn more about JCPL programming.

Because the library is so important and such a focal point in the community, the Jessamine Journal’s vision is to promote the JCPL people and the events they organize.

For parents, this library’s superpowers include an active children’s program that includes storyhour and so much more. Thus we decided to learn more about Kate Irwin, children’s program coordinator. She is amazing, nice and somebody who you would expect to make a guest appearance on a PBS show like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

What do you do for the library?  I am the children’s program coordinator at JCPL. That means that I plan, organize and coordinate all of the children’s programs that happen at JCPL.  In a nutshell, that means I get to have a lot of fun and plan memorable experiences for kids and families.

How long have you worked for the library?  I have been with JCPL for 15 years

What is the best part about being a librarian?  I have a unique position in the library world.  I get to focus my energy on serving and interacting with the families and children of Jessamine County as well as the surrounding area.  Every day is different and sometimes includes having animals like horses, kangaroos and penguins roaming around our meeting rooms, an indoor ice skating rink or BMX bikes performing jumps over the stacks in the main library.You never quite know what you’ll find at JCPL and I love it!

What is your favorite children’s book? Why?  I love books and I think books that you read as a child really impact the person you become as an adult.  One of my favorite books right now is “The Stick” by Clay Rice.  It highlights the importance of imaginative play and how we’re all kids at heart.

When is storyhour?  JCPL offers a variety of storytimes throughout the year.  During the school year we have Mother Goose storytime for birth – 2 years on Mondays at 10:30.  We have Tiny Tinkers – STEM storytime for preschoolers 3 – 5 years on Tuesdays at 10:30.

On Wednesdays we have Preschool Storytime at 10:30 for 3 – 5 year olds and that focuses on school readiness skills.  Finally on Fridays we have Jump & Jive – music and movement for birth – 5 years of age at 10:30.  The current storytime season will be wrapping up on March 25 and we will be preparing for our Summer Learning Program.

During the summer our programming schedule changes and we offer a variety of different programs for various ages.  Summer Storytime will be on Mondays at 10:30 and we will feature a new Saturday Storytime with those dates and times being announced soon.

Where did you grow up? How did you come to be a librarian?  I grew up in a small farming community in Michigan.  I came to Kentucky for college.  After graduating and moving around a bit, I returned to Central KY.  While I did not go library school, lifelong learning has always been a priority for me.  I love to learn skills and try new things .  I have always had a passion for kids and families and investing in their lives.  I always strive to find creative and engaging ways for families and kids to learn and discover.

Do you have a family? Kids?  I live in Nicholasville with my husband and two children.

Do you guys have legos kids can play with?  JCPL features many maker kits that can be checked out for use while at the library.  These kits include Legos, Magna tiles, Lincoln logs, train sets, and many more. JCPL features a Lego club once a month for children K-5th grade who love to build as well as a monthly art class and family craft program.

What programming do you want to feature?  Right now we are gearing up for our Summer Learning program.  We feature reading challenges, engaging programs and prizes for all ages.  Our Summer Learning preview party is going to be happening on Sunday, May 15 from 1 – 6 PM and will feature inflatables, a bubble truck, climbing wall, pony rides, and information about all the exciting things you can look forward to this summer.

I encourage everyone to check out our online events calendar, http://www.jesspublib.org/events for a look at the wide variety of programming that JCPL has to offer.  There is literally something for everyone.