Clearfield County Public Library Has a New Leader

Kayla Clark is the new Clearfield County Public Library Director. Here she poses at the desk of the Curwensville Public Library where a poster promotes National Library Week with its slogan “Libraries=strong communities.” (Photo by Julie Rae Rickard)

CURWENSVILLE – The Clearfield County Public Library has a new leader.

In March Kayla Clark of Grampian began the next stage of her professional journey when she was named the new director of the library.

It seems an interest in libraries is in her blood. Her mother, Debbie Clark is the librarian at the Clearfield Elementary School. Her brother, Chris Clark, works at the Joseph & Elizabeth Shaw Library in Clearfield.

When she was young, Kayla spent a lot of time at the Shaw Public Library while her mother was working and “grew up there.”

In college she majored in music performance, but discovered she could not escape the library gene.

Kayla explained that although she loved performing music, she discovered she did not want to be a music teacher and found herself at a crossroad.

As a college freshman, she had begun working at the Shaw Library and “really enjoyed it.”

She realized that “libraries have been my whole life” and decided to pursue a Master’s degree in library science, which she obtained in May of 2015.

Her Bachelor’s degree in music is not going to waste.

“I perform a lot,” she said with the Grampian Band, the Clearfield Community Band and the Keystone Regiment Senior Drum & Bugle Cops. She plays trumpet and bugle.

Her fiancé, Robert Pennington, also has a strong interest in music, as the marching band director of the Curwensville Area School District.

Before coming to the County Library, Kayla continued working at the Shaw Library, where she served as interim director for several months in 2016.

She is excited about her new role and is eager to cooperate with the other libraries in the county.

“I know them pretty well and I want to continue to build relationships with them.”

Kayla is open-minded on where the library will go from here and is considering suggestions about new programs.

“We are asking people what they want,” she said. Future adult programs will cover health and finance.

She mentioned doing an informational presentation on Lyme Disease since it is prevalent in this area and reports indicate this is going to be a bad summer for ticks.

The popular children’s programs will be expanded to include science, engineering, technology and math or STEM education.

The greatest challenge for the library is attracting teens.

“We are trying to build a relationship with the (Curwensville) school to get more teens involved,” she said.

Specifically, they are asking the teenagers that do come to the library what they would like for a summer reading program and which prizes they would expect.

During the next school year, she hopes to get teachers involved and learn more about what the library can do to support them.

As she pointed out, “they are right there” as the Curwensville School is directly across the street from the Curwensville Library, which is also home to the county library.

Her biggest project is developing a program for the new mobile library services unit, which replaces the old bookmobile.

Early plans are for the new van to visit communities, nursing homes, daycare centers and other places where people don’t have access to a library.

To keep up with all the exciting happenings at the Curwensville Library or the County Library, like their Facebook page or go to clearfieldcountylibrary.org.

 

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