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Lowville Free Library hires familiar face as new director

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LOWVILLE — Whether reading to children as the “Cat in the Hat” or leading a teen group, Dawn C. Myers has become a highly visible part of the Lowville Free Library team over the years.

Now, she’s the captain.

Mrs. Myers, assistant librarian to longtime Director Sally A. Brown for the past nine years, replaced her on Saturday.

“I came aboard as mom at story time in 1994,” Mrs. Myers recalled, referring to herself as an “accidental librarian.”

She has since spent a lot of time volunteering or working at the library, interspersed with teaching at the former St. Peter’s Catholic School and Lewis County Head Start.

On the same day she left Head Start to focus more time on a personal business venture, Mrs. Myers said, she got a call from Mrs. Brown asking her to come back to the library.

“I wanted to make sure she didn’t get away,” said the retiring librarian, who has directed the facility since 1982.

An open house reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the library to welcome Mrs. Myers to her new post and honor her predecessor.

The library board of trustees posted want ads in local papers and on library websites, then reviewed six applications. Mrs. Myers was selected.

“Dawn was just way ahead on experience, thanks to Sally, because she’s been mentoring her,” said Patricia R. Burke, president of the library’s board of directors.

Mrs. Burke also lauded her sense of humor and dedication to the library and its programs.

“Dawn has all the skills to handle the day-to-day operation of the library and will enthusiastically deliver the message of the library’s services and mission to the community,” Stephen B. Bolton, director of the North Country Library System, said in a release.

Mrs. Myers, who also operates an arts and crafts business called DM Designs, has been particularly effective in drawing teenagers to the library, both for Anime Club — focused on Japanese animation — and Teen Club, Mrs. Brown said.

“That’s the hardest group to get in here, and she’s gotten them,” she said.

Mrs. Myers also has used her teen regulars to teach younger children and has set a “teens teaching adults” session for 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, just before the open house. Adults are encouraged to bring in their electronic devices, and the youths on hand will show them how to better use the technology.

Three goals of the new librarian are to expand e-library services, survey the community needs and increase the library’s role as a “place for education, enrichment and enjoyment.”

A graduate of Oswego High School and Oswego County Board of Cooperative Educational Services office practice and data-processing programs, Mrs. Myers in 2008 earned an associate degree in education from Empire State College.

Mrs. Brown said she has thoroughly enjoyed her 34 years at the library, particularly the people she has been able to work with over the years, and has seen the greatest change in use of technology.

Despite her retirement, the longtime librarian will remain on staff as part-time acquisition librarian. In that capacity, she will continue to order books, work shifts at the desk and make monthly excursions to Brookside Senior Living Community.

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