Published 3:51 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Together we can.

Sara Hahn

When I found out that I had been named director of our library system last month, I was flooded with a sense that dreams were about to become a reality. Of course, the dream of my career goal was coming true, but my dreams for our community are much bigger and are driven by partnerships with our library system.

Together we can.

Through my role as children and youth services librarian, we’ve worked to bridge the gap between our library system and school system by forming intentional relationships with our school media specialists, public and private.

We’ve put our heads together with the creative minds at the Stanly County Partnership for Children to collaborate and grow in our early literacy education and offerings.

We’ve worked with the State Library of North Carolina to share ideas and find grant funding to make those ideas a reality and bring literacy even to a laundromat.

With resource sharing, cross-advertising and in-house partnerships, the scope of outreach to children and families in Stanly County for literacy and resources has genuinely been a joint success.

Together we can.

While shopping on my lunch break one afternoon, I spotted the words on a throw pillow and couldn’t look away: Together We Can.

I stared at the pillow for an embarrassingly long moment while thinking of all those words have meant in my career as a children and youth services librarian and how much they will continue to mean as a library director.

For all of the partnerships that have taken place in working to serve the children and young families in our community, it is exhilarating to imagine all that is to come from partnerships within our library system as a whole continuing into the future.

Our newest community partnership is with the Pfeiffer Occupational Therapy Department, helping us run our Sensory Lab times which are open to the public.

Dr. Crystal Gaddy, assistant professor with the Pfeiffer OT program, has been an integral part of collaborating with Jimmy Vang, our sensory lab coordinator, to create lab times that will work around student schedules and serve the needs of local families and adult care groups who benefit from sensory play.

The Pfeiffer students are creating informational graphics and handouts to share with visitors to our lab, explaining the science behind sensory play, how it benefits individuals across all spans of neurodiversity and even ideas of how to create sensory habitats at home for continued learning and engagement.

This new partnership is the first of many on the horizon, including computer classes offered in the near future by Stanly Community College held here in the library to be accessible by everyone.

In case you’re wondering, I bought the pillow. It sits in the chair in front of my desk as a constant reminder to myself and the staff members who sit next to me and serve alongside me in making Stanly County and the community we serve a legacy of literacy.

Currently Reading: “It Starts With Us” by Colleen Hoover.

Sara Hahn is director of the Stanly County Public Library.