Ginger Stapp, Early Literacy Specialist, is a perfect fit for early childhood education

I am super lucky to have a job that I am passionate about! In an informal
way, I share my love of stories and learning with children and their families making it exciting to come to work almost every day. Developing a love of reading is critical to children’s healthy development and success in school; I want to be a part of this!

I came to BCPL a little over 5 years ago as a Youth Services Associate planning and implementing programs at the Scheben Branch before taking on the role as Early Literacy Specialist at the Main Library in September of 2017 in which I
coordinate our storytimes and make sure our preschool programming is developmentally appropriate. Parents are children’s first and most important teachers. I model ways for caregivers to enjoy talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing with their children to enrich their early childhood education. I support our staff by sharing tools, training, and research to make our programs fun and educational, with a big emphasis on fun.

I have always been impressed with the way BCPL works to serve the entire community. We provide solid services for all ages and types of people with professionalism and kindness. No one is excluded from learning and becoming the best person they can be. Our motto sums it up with “Discover, Explore, Experience a lifetime of learning.”

I was raised on a farm in Pulaski County next door to my grandparents. I had good friends and warm relationships with my church family. Really idyllic, looking back on it. My family had my best interests at heart and showed me what it meant to be a good person by example and by the use of teachable moments. My husband’s career eventually took us to Cincinnati for four years. I finished my graduate work to be a school librarian and joined River Ridge Elementary in Villa Hills as the Media Librarian. We wanted to be closer to our family in southern Kentucky, so we moved to Florence in 1996. I love living here and loved raising my children here. The library system, excellent schools, and great parks were a big part of that.

I have a wonderful family. My parents, my husband, and my adult children are the kind of people you would want to have as friends and neighbors. I’m really proud of them and find them to be one of the greatest blessings in my life. I am an extrovert and like to laugh a lot so spending time with family and friends is one of my greatest joys.

In my free time, I like to attend rock concerts. I’ve had a blast on music-based cruises such as “The Rock Boat” and “Ships and Dip” which features my favorite band, Barenaked Ladies. I was the strangest dressed person at Bonnaroo Music Festival a few years ago wearing bermuda shorts and plain tank tops. I have seen Barenaked Ladies perform around 50 times over the past 12 years. People think that’s strange, but it’s a different show every single time. If I had said I had been to 50 of the same team’s games over the course of 12 years you wouldn’t think it odd. I’ve also seen Paul
McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Chicago, The Beach
Boys, Willie Nelson, Dawes, Guster, Panic! at the Disco, Train, Paul Simon,
O.A.R., Florence and the Machine, Rod Stewart, Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley,
way too many to count. I like to be in the pit if at all possible, and I need room
for dancing. Lots of room.

I enjoy participating in community theater productions, although I have not
done this recently. My favorite roles were The Wicked Witch of the West in
Union Community Theater’s “The Wizard of Oz” in 2011 and Betsy Gridley in
Beechmont Players’ “Messiah on the Frigidaire” in 2010. I love everything
about it, but the time commitment is too great at this time in my life.
Fortunately though, I can use the storytelling skills in my programming!

My husband and I recently purchased a camper which starts a whole new chapter of fun! We have taken some good trips this year including Washington D.C.; Cherokee, North Carolina; Asheville, North Carolina; Red River Gorge and Harlan, Kentucky camping with friends and family. Some great trips we have taken without the camper include San Francisco, Key West, a couple of Caribbean cruises, Italy, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Chicago, Nashville, and Atlanta. I love being my own tour guide, and I do a lot of research to learn about the place before we go. It’s part of the fun for me. And what better place to research my destinations than Boone County Public Library!


Love of Books Leads to a Career in Printmaking

Kathleen Piercefield in her home studio with a print on the press.

Picture a tiny toddler, entering a library for the first time. Her eyes widen, she exclaims in delight and awe, “Oh!! All those books!” That was me, in my mom’s account of my first visit to our local library. I must have been very small because I don’t  remember it – but I do remember that during my childhood, bedtimes were always accompanied by the reading of a story, and my parents both did their best to infuse me with their own love of reading. They certainly succeeded! I was an only child and books were my lifeline — they provided companions and adventures, and stretched the dimensions of my little room to encompass the world.

I grew up in a small town on the south side of Chicago, and the things that interested me were reading, drawing, music and nature (which in that semi-urban environment, I never could get enough of.) As I grew up, drawing moved to the front of the list, and in college – at Murray State University in western Kentucky – my major was studio arts. Family circumstances sent me back to Chicago, and then my art education was interrupted again when I met a northern Kentucky boy who was also at Murray — a biology student with a love of nature and the outdoors that matched mine. We fell in love, married, and shortly after his graduation we moved to Grant County, where we raised three sons and a daughter. For many years I was a full-time mom, but when my youngest son was in high school, I finally went back to school myself, this time at NKU. In the process of completing a BFA, I changed my focus from studio arts to printmaking, and that has been the foundation of my art practice ever since. My basement studio houses a small etching press, and I’m also a member of Tiger Lily Press, a printmaking group based in Cincinnati. I exhibit with them and occasionally teach classes in their print studio.

What drew me to printmaking is something parallel to the aesthetic appeal I find in books. A book is a gateway into thought and information, but it’s also a physical object with weight and texture, surface qualities, subtle aromas. Holding a book and turning its pages engages all the senses. Printmaking does that too, as I carve or etch a matrix, mix inks, handle paper, and apply pressure to produce an image. It’s an art form that requires attention to detail, but also lots of openness to the unexpected – paper and ink meeting under the pressure of a press can make for all kinds of surprises.

My path to BCPL began way back in that small town library south of Chicago, because that was where I had my first real job. I worked as a page from age 15 until I graduated from high school. Later I worked in the library at Murray State, and at De Paul University in downtown Chicago, where I held a full time job in their periodicals library for about two years. In 2009 I decided it would be good to have a part time job supplementing my art income. I put in an application at BCPL, and though I didn’t get the first job I applied for, some weeks later I got a call from Human Resources about another opening. In January 2010 I started as a page at Main. I was thrilled to be working in a library again! When a position opened at the Walton branch a few months later, I jumped at the opportunity, and once I had met the staff there I knew I had found my home. I‘ve been a Circulation Assistant at Walton since June of 2010. In addition to the usual circ-desk duties, one of my special jobs is arranging our monthly reading – genre displays and scheduling the exhibits featured in our wall case. (So…if you have a collection of interesting things or know of a local artist who would like to show their work, please give me a shout. I’m always looking for new displays!) I also serve as the go-to bug catcher at the Walton branch; I am fascinated with (and usually not scared of) insects and other creepy crawlies, and happy to escort misplaced critters back outside if they happen to come in.

Spare time? No, I don’t have any to spare — there are always more things I want to do than there are hours in the day! Personal Bible study and helping others to learn about the Bible claim a significant amount of my time. Aside from that – and making art, and reading – I long for more opportunities to travel, learn, and just take time to observe the living things around me.

What do I love about BCPL? More than anything, I treasure the good relations that I enjoy with my co-workers. I have enormous respect for their skills and talents, and continually learn from them. I also appreciate the interactions we have with our patrons and the ties we form with many of them. Each day has challenges, but for me the greatest reward comes when someone’s face lights up because we’ve connected them with exactly what they need at that moment – whether it’s a great book, digital media, information they need for a school project, or assistance in navigating the internet. It’s a real privilege to work on BCPL’s team and to be part of a library system that offers so much to its community.