'Nancy Drew' lover now youth services librarian

Published:

by MIKE LESKO | REPORTER

Aurora -- As a child, Courtney Caldwell loved to be read "Nancy Drew" mystery books by her parents, Anne and Richard Mullett of Ravenna.

"We were big readers when I was a child," she said. "I grew up going to story time at Reed Memorial Library in Ravenna."

Now, as an adult, she says it's ironic that she gets to spend lots of time at story time sessions as the youth services librarian at Aurora Memorial Library.

"I get to interact with the children a lot here," she said, adding that what she enjoys the most about her job is talking with residents and being around the children.

It was an unusual road that brought Caldwell to the library, where she was hired in August 2011 to succeed Sandy Tucker, who is the full-time children's librarian.

Caldwell, who graduated from Ravenna High School and Kent State University, was interested in anthropology, which was her major at Kent State.

"I wanted to be an archeologist," she said. "I loved anthropology."

However, she also loved books and reading, and when she moved to Aurora in 2009, she wanted a job close to home.

"I was always a library user, and I loved the library here, so I thought I'd try to get a position at the library," she said. "It was good fortune for me. It worked out wonderfully."

Caldwell and Tucker collaborate on story times and special programs throughout the year including holiday and Halloween programs plus the summer reading program, where "we try to have performers and authors, and expose children to a lot of different aspects of reading," she said.

When she's not at the library, Caldwell, whose husband is Chris, often spends time reading to her two sons, August Dexter, 10, a fourth-grader at Leighton Elementary School, and Zane Caldwell, 21 months.

"I read to my kids every day," she said. "August likes adventure books as well as some classics, and Zane likes any sports-related books."

For youngsters who visit the library, Caldwell hopes she can instill "a love of the library -- not just of books -- and for them to use everything the library has to offer."

"[To someone who is unsure about reading,] I would say, 'Try new things because sooner or later, you will find that one book that will make you passionate about reading.'"

Aurora Memorial Library, 115 E. Pioneer Trail, is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and closed Thursdays and Sundays.

For more information, call 330-562-6502.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187

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