By Madison Stevens
Special to the Rappahannock News
Rappahannock County is fortunate to have a library staff that is so visibly passionate and devoted to books, technology, and people, whether it’s providing summer reading programs, unlimited free internet, or just a quiet place to work.
Although David Shaffer never really saw himself working in a library, he has been a dedicated asset to all who enter its space for more than 20 years.
David, in fact, lives in Marshall, and chooses to commute to Rappahannock every day because of everything the county offers.
“The county has beautiful scenery and the people make it unique,” he says. “The connections I’ve made with individual people and the community make it worth it.”
As for books, David personally enjoys the classics, such as James Joyce, Jane Austen, and other 19th and 20th century literature. But the library faculty, which also includes Denise Kruczynski and Amanda Weakley, have shown the importance of having a variety of books and other materials for all preferences.
David gushes, saying that Amanda, the children’s librarian, is vibrant and passionate, reaching out to and embracing every personality of young readers.
Amanda has worked hard to develop the library’s popular summer reading program, encouraging children in the community to keep a reading log, not to mention continuing to exercise their brains during the summer months, which has been found to be highly beneficial once the academic year begins.
And although summer reading focuses on children, it’s not limited to them. Ages for the programs range from infants to high school seniors preparing for college. In fact, there is a preschool story time every Wednesday morning that has proven very popular. The sole purpose, Amanda says, is to keep the children reading, and to do that she strives to make her programs fun and flexible.
“Parents and kids can decide what their reading goals are,” she says, “and it keeps them interested because they decide what they want to do; it’s not an assignment. We offer special programs of different categories such as science, reptiles, magic shows, and painting.”
Although the numbers have been rising, Amanda hopes the library can encourage more teenagers to participate in its diverse reading programs, saying it’s never too early to get them registered and started.
Meanwhile, the library’s future hopes include being able to provide more meeting space with current technology and helpful material for the people of our community, like “basic computer help” that is being offered today.
David points out that media plays a large factor in libraries everywhere today and the most important thing is to keep up to date on the technology and provide services such as dependable wifi, computers and other online resources, all precious commodities in Rappahannock.
And all ears are open at the library for any and all suggestions for the future.
“In order for us to be a vital community center, we need to get a response from the community,” David stresses, “and we hope that that feedback can help us to offer something for everyone of all ages in our community.”
The Rappahannock County Library is located at 4 Library Road in Washington. Opening and closing times differ each day, and are updated on the library’s website — https://rappahannocklibrary.org — where there is also a schedule of daily programs and events. Phone 540.675.3780.