Published 10:30 am Monday, March 6, 2023

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American author Annie Dillard said, “She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.”

That pretty much sums up my mother and now, myself; certainly a compliment.

Nicolle Hopkins

As a teacher, summers were the only times my mom had to catch up on the newest reads by the newest authors or the unread books by her favorite authors.

We were at the library for story times, programming and for simply browsing the shelves. The things I remember most about these summers as a child are the near-daily trips to the library; the warm morning sun shining as we walked through town, the smell of paper and books when we opened the doors and the excitement of adventures just waiting to be had.

My sister and I would play “library” sometimes where we would browse our shelves at home and take turns using the TV remote to scan books out to each other. Who knew that 25 years later (I can’t believe I’m old enough to say that) I’d be using a real scanner to check out books to patrons young and old?

For those of you who have been to the library since January, you have received a warm smile and hello. If not, it’s probably time you came to the library.

My name is Nicolle Hopkins, the new children and youth services librarian here in Albemarle.

I have been in education in the public sector for the past 10 years and have recently been given this opportunity to do something I’ve dreamed of doing for a long time: bringing a love of literacy to children county-wide.

I am the mother of four beautiful children, several thousand honey bees, more than 20 cows, 16 chickens, four dogs and one lone barn cat. My title of “chaos coordinator” at home makes my quiet time and hot coffee taste even better.

Since January, I’ve had the privilege to interact and serve the families and sweet babies of our community through story time, singing and dancing, reading and just friendly conversation.

I have always had an interest in learning and speaking different languages and during my time in education I had many opportunities to foster this love of language to the children I was serving.

During our Wednesday story times here at the library, we have started learning a new Spanish word a week, along with a Spanish good morning song which aids in the inclusion of our Spanish language books.

I’m so honored to be in a position where I can now share this love of language with a broader group of children in our entire community, and work directly with the families being touched by our public school’s dual immersion program.

We have also started learning a new sign language word each week, a continued focus from our Baby Bookworms program on Thursdays.

I feel that when we limit ourselves to only what we know, we are limiting ourselves to the possibilities of new friendships and adventures, so exposing the children of Stanly County to as many languages, cultures and experiences as possible through library service is an impact I hope to achieve.

Thank you so much for all of your support for our library in the past, present and future.

I look forward to serving and learning with your families for many years to come.

Picture Book Highlight: “Rappy the Raptor” by Dan Gutman.

Currently Reading: “Local Woman Missing” by Mary Kubica.

Nicolle Hopkins is the new children and youth services librarian at the Stanly County Public Library.