A single university course changed the direction of Jenn Atkinson’s career.
Having planned to work in university libraries, things changed when she took a children’s services course.
“I fell in love,” she said. “It was so inspiring I decided I wanted to work with youth.”
Atkinson is the new administrator of youth services at the Colchester-East Hants Regional Library, replacing Lynda Marsh, who retired after 37 years at the library.
Atkinson’s first day on the job was Nov. 20, and she had a little time to learn from Marsh.
“I had two weeks with the training wheels on,” she said. “I’m so glad she shared her wisdom. She really paved the way for youth services.”
Atkinson, who grew up in Springhill, has been a fan of books since she was a child, with her parents reading to her daily. One book she remembers as a favourite was “The Twiddlebugs’ Dream House,” which came in the mail through the Sesame Street Book Club.
Her love of books continued as she grew. After graduating from Dalhousie University with a Masters of Library and Information Studies in 2009, she worked as a school librarian in Cumberland County and as a youth services librarian for Cumberland Public Libraries. Then she saw the posting for the Truro position.
“I was looking for a new challenge, and there’s a bigger library here, and this beautiful new building was certainly enticing,” she said. “I also knew some of the staff from conferences we attended.
“My dad went to Teachers College here and I heard good things about the area from him and other people.”
She and her husband are now looking forward to exploring the area more, particularly when it’s warmer outside.
She enjoys a wide range of reading material, often reading teen fiction and graphic novels.
“I recently found romance novels, which I’d always turned my nose up at before,” she said with a laugh. “I get excited when any new books arrive. I’ll be right there with an X-Acto knife, opening the boxes. It’s like Christmas. I love seeing new picture books.”
As part of her job she sometimes gets to read to children during storytime, and take part in teen programs.
When she’s not working or reading Atkinson enjoys playing piano, knitting and doing yoga.