UNION CITY, Ind. — This is Paige Yoder’s third day on the job as librarian of Union City Public Library.
The 26-year-old comes to Union City from Driver Middle School, where she worked for a little over a year.
She said she learned of the opening at the beginning of August and interviewed for the job before the month ended after previous director Joe Skeen left.
How does she feel about being head librarian?
“I was not expecting it this soon. It’s a big job,” she said on Tuesday morning. “But, I’m really excited and have a lot of enthusiasm for it. Yesterday was a pretty good day. There were a lot of kids after school. Most of them go straight to the computers.”
Services offered at the library include storytime on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and craft time for children from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
“One of my goals is to provide for program for the children and in general,” she said.
Yoder, who is studying for her master’s on library science through IUPUI, has another year yet to go to receive that degree.
She is liking it because, as she said, “It’s a good way to reach the community and to reach the kids to give them what they need with all the red tape in school.”
An enthusiast of fiction, she has been reading since elementary school. Her first book, she said, was “The Foot Book” by Dr. Seuss.
The 2009 graduate of Jay County High School in Portland, she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education in 2013 from Indiana University.
The daughter of John and Candy Beaty of Redkey, Indiana, she is married to Josh Yoder, who teaches at the high school in Winchester. They, too live in Redkey for the time being with their 1-year-old son Maxwell, but are planning to move to Randolph County eventually.
She plans on making some changes at the library.
“Hopefully, there will be some changes coming,” she said. “I’d like to get more children’s program. It may take a little time but once we’re more connected to the community it shouldn’t be too bad. And, we’re in the process of working to remodel the building. We’re currently coming up with ideas. We’ll do basic updating.”
The library was built in 1904 and is located at 408 N. Columbia St.
The public library was first housed in the local school, then in two rented rooms in the Wallace Block in downtown Union City, but the dream of a permanent home for the public library was strong.
The dream moved toward reality through the efforts of the 3Gs, a society of young women who held concerts and other events to raise funds for a library building. They knew that philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was offering $10,000 to communities that promised to provide taxes of $1,000 a year for their library’s support.
City council agreed to support it and the building was erected. The building sits at the back of its extensive lot because the lot’s donor stipulated that the property must remain a park.
During the Great Depression, many libraries closed or shortened hours. The Union City Public Library maintained its level of service but new purchases were hampered by the financial crisis.
In the mid-1980s, the library board remodeled the facility expanding its vertical space. The remodeling was done with respect to the building’s architecture and interior features.
Today, Art Sense, an adult day service program offering individualized services at the edge of Union City, Ohio, has loaned the library its Wizard of Oz exhibit, which is on display.
Working at the library with Yoder are aides/attendants Monna Hummel and Alex Kahn in the adult sections and Becky Hiatt in children’s.
The Union City Library Board of trustees include President Jeanne English; Vice President Debbie Williams; Treasurer Diana Loomis; Secretary Ryan Prinkey; and members Cynthia Aukerman, Kathy Moore and Brent Cotter.
This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.
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