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A book lover's paradise

Brodie Thomas
Northern News Services
Published Monday, December 15, 2008

LLI GOLINE/NORMAN WELLS - There is a new librarian on the job in Norman Wells, and avid readers in the community are glad to hear it.

Karen Bounds recently returned to Norman Wells after four years away. She didn't come back planning to work at the library, but she talked herself into it after learning the library would be closed until someone filled the position.

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Karen Bounds said she sort of fell into the librarian position at the Norman Wells Community Library in November. The library was going to remain closed until they found a new librarian, so Bounds agreed to take the job. - photo courtesy of Karen Bounds

"I wasn't looking for a job but I wanted the library open," she said with a laugh.

As a book lover, Bounds described the library as a home away from home. However, she doesn't have any time to actually read while at work. She is too busy catching up on all the work that needs to be done.

"We're constantly getting in new stuff and it is just sitting here waiting to get on the shelf," she said.

There are many aspects to her job. She has to cull the books that are no longer being used, enter new books into the catalogue and help patrons and students.

One might think a library would not want to get rid of any books, but Bounds said there is only limited space and there is no use holding onto books nobody wants.

"To make room on my shelves I have to discard some of the older books and make way for the new ones," she said.

The library has a system for deciding which books are removed. Anything that hasn't been checked out in three or more years is taken off the shelf.

Bounds said the library is especially busy after school with students who want to use the computers. She has a way of making sure those students get some reading time in as well.

"If they want computer time they only get so long and then they have to read a book," she said. "It's kind of blackmail but it works."

She said demand for the computers is high so there is a time limit of 20 minutes. Even though most of the kids come for the computers, Bounds said it is great to see kids using the library.

It isn't just students coming to the library. Bounds said she has had many grateful adults coming through the doors during the evening. They are happy to finally have some new reading material.

"As long as the weather is not cold, traffic has been not bad at all," she said.

After almost a month on a job she didn't even plan to have, Bounds said she is glad she signed on for the position.

"I just love it," she said.