The new manager of the Barnwell County Public Library wants residents to know they don't have to venture far to go on some incredible journeys.
"Books are a great escape. They can take you anywhere in the world," said Kim Hatfield, who was recently promoted from clerk. She started at the library in 2011 as a page.
Mary Jo Dawson, the director of the Aiken-Bamberg-Barnwell-Edgefield Regional Library System, said she is pleased they could promote someone who is familiar with the library and its patrons. "I think this gives her a great perspective on future planning for the library," said Dawson. "I and the Barnwell County Library Board of Trustees are looking forward to working with Kim towards a shared goal of excellence on all aspects of library services."
Hatfield, a lifelong lover of history, reading and libraries, called the library manager position her dream job. "Reading is such a gift to us all," said Hatfield, who enjoys all kinds of books, but lists "To Kill a Mockingbird" among her favorites.
While the library sees an average of 6,000 to 8,000 patrons each month, Hatfield hopes to see those numbers rise by sharing her passion with others and promoting the library in the community. "People just don't know what goes on here," she said. "We're more than just a few books."
She also wants to expand their selection of books, especially graphic novels and juvenile books - both of which are growing in popularity. The library always accepts donated books. What doesn't end up on the shelf is included in their book sale to raise funds.
Hatfield also welcomes the public's input on what they'd like to see at the library, including new programs. "I would like to know what people will like," said Hatfield, who has had several people ask about starting computer classes.
The library also includes meeting rooms, computers and programs for all ages, including the Lego Club, Pinterest parties, and ever-popular summer reading program.
Before moving to Barnwell in 2010, Hatfield, a native of Johnston, worked in the Edgefield County schools as a volunteer and long-term substitute and spent 20 years in the flower and gift shop industry.
To share ideas with Hatfield, email her at KimH@abbe-lib.org or call (803) 259-3612. Also, like the library's Facebook page.
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