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Melanie Boerner was recently hired as youth services librarian at Liberty Lake Municipal Library.

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On the September Library page: The start of a new chapter; Book Review
8/29/2014 11:27:55 AM

Library hires new youth services librarian 
By Sarah Robertson
Splash Contributor

For Melanie Boerner, libraries have been a special part of her life for as long as she can remember.  Now she is excited to join the team at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library as the new youth services librarian.  

While Boerner was born in Spokane, she spent much of her childhood and adult life in San Diego, Calif.  She and her family recently moved to the area to be closer to her parents.  

In fact, Boerner worked for the San Diego County Library system from the age of 17.  She started in high school, moved up through the paraprofessional ranks, and decided to earn her degree in library and information sciences when she was 23.  After earning her master's degree, she continued working for the San Diego County Library where she was hired as a children's librarian.  

"I love the children's stuff," Boerner said enthusiastically. "My favorite part of working in a library is speaking to parents and interacting with children. I like reading the teen books and talking with them about the books that they like. But the most important thing to me is the connection between the parent and the children."

Boerner will be working with a wide age range. Her job covers babies through 18- year-olds. She will be in charge of youth programming, which includes storytimes, Lego club, after-school events and more.  Boerner will also have a chance to order books-a task that she said seems a little daunting but exciting too.

"Being in charge of the collection is a bit intimidating, but I'm excited for the challenge," she said. "To have the responsibility of what is put on the shelves is new to me, and I'm looking forward to it. I'll be doing a lot of homework-I don't want to disappoint!"

As one would expect of a proper youth librarian, she enjoys young adult books.  One of her favorite authors is Scott Westerfeld who penned the Uglies and Leviathan series. Her favorite book is "The Giver" by Lois Lowry-but not because it is now a movie. 

"It kinda' sits with you after you read it," she said. "You don't dread reading it."  

Though hardly settled in at the library, Boerner's friendliness and expertise has impressed many already.  Dianne Murray, former president of the Friends of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library, was happy with the decision to hire Boerner.  

"I was impressed with her experience and knowledge-just her whole demeanor was wonderful," she said.

Library Director Pamela Mogen said she believes Boerner will bring fresh ideas, a lot of enthusiasm and a sense of fun.

"Melanie brings just as much fun and energy as our previous youth librarians, but she also brings with her over ten years of experience in a bigger library," Mogen said. "We can't wait to see what she is going to do." 

And Boerner said she is very excited to be part of the Liberty Lake community and can't wait to meet all the families, kids and teens.

"I like how the community loves their library.  They feel invested in it," she said. 

"Everyone should come by and introduce themselves to me. I'm here Tuesday through Friday!"

• • • 

Meet the Librarian
Sept. 18, 6 to 8 p.m.
Liberty Lake Municipal Library

Friends of the Liberty Lake Library are hosting a special event to welcome new youth services librarian Melanie Bourner. There will be a Q&A time as well as punch and hors d'oeuvres. 

• • • 

Book Review: War writing shows soldiers' struggles
By Daniel Pringle
Liberty Lake Municipal Library

In 11 stories treating the war experience from a variety of perspectives, former Marine Phil Klay's "Redeployment" is an affecting collection that leaves the reader with more details about daily life as a soldier in Iraq and at home but with little in the way of message or meaning about the war. Free of simple takeaways on either side of the country's feelings about it, Klay relates the complicated and confusing nature of the conflict for those on the ground and their efforts to make sense of it.

With an insider's view of Marine life, Klay conveys the journey of a soldier from enlisting as a ticket out of a small town, to the stress and chaos of missions in Ramadi and Fallujah, to the return to civil society while dealing with the memories of war and the demons that some soldiers never escape. His characters reflect the diverse makeup of the military, introducing Midwesterners and Latinos, privileged whites like himself who served in Public Affairs, and an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian who finds himself defending his experience to a Muslim student at a New England liberal arts school and arguing against it with his pro-war father.

Klay's intense and challenging book doesn't avoid the use of jargon and acronyms that make up communication between soldiers and officers, and which places one at a further remove from keeping up with everything that is going on. Indeed, it seems that his ultimate message is that the experience of war is nearly impossible to communicate or understand, even-maybe especially-for those who directly lived it.

Daniel Pringle is adult services and reference librarian at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library.


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