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There's a new librarian in town

Daron Letts
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 16/05) - Six months after completing her masters degree in library information studies at the University of Dalhousie in Halifax, Jennifer Knowlan opened a new chapter in her career.

Knowlan is the new public service librarian for the Yellowknife Public Library. She arrived late last month after completing a six-month contract at the Halifax Public Library, where she served as the youth service librarian.

In her new role, she will be doing "a little bit of everything," she said.

She is responsible for managing collections, supervising the reference desk, planning programs and liaising with the community.

"I'm hoping in the coming year to do some more programming for teens and youth," she said. "That's something we could use more of and it's something I want to focus on."

She plans to meet with youth to discover their interests, needs and ideas before she moves forward on that goal.

She will also work on new programming for younger children and adults, while building on existing programs.

The popular Philosopher's Cafe series, started by former librarian Shad Turner, will continue in the new year, Knowlan said. The first cafe is scheduled for February.

The library will also continue to host visiting authors.

With a strong book collection, periodical and audio/visual databases, and six public access Internet terminals, the library accomplishes its informational and recreational role, Knowlan said.

But she also describes the library as a meeting place for Yellowknife residents.

"I feel that the library is an important community resource," she said. "It's a place for everyone to come where everyone is welcome."

Having completed an under graduate degree in English literature from the University of British Columbia, it's no surprise that Knowlan is an avid fan of fiction. Even when chipping away at weighty works of non-fiction, she keeps a couple of novels on the go.

This month she's reading former United Nations commander Romeo Dallaire's Shake Hands With the Devil, which exposes the international failure surrounding the 1993 genocide in Rwanda.

She is also reading one of the Harry Potter books and just finished Zadie Smith's On Beauty.