3 librarians join staff at Hoag Library

Photos by Tom Rivers: Teresa Gaylard, an Albion native, returned to the community last year when she was hired as the children’s librarian at Hoag Library. She worked the previous 12 years for the Dayton Metro Library in Ohio.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 December 2018 at 12:49 pm

ALBION – Hoag Library recently has hired three librarians, all with their master’s degrees.

Teresa Gaylard started in September 2017 as the children’s librarian. She started working at the former Swan Library when she was 19. She came back to Albion after 12 years as a librarian at the Dayton Metro Library.

Hoag also has hired two reference librarians. Michael Magnuson started this past Sept. 4, following the retirement of Cheryl Mowatt. Elizabeth Archer Haibach also started as a reference librarian last week.

The new staff are all highly trained and committed to serving library users, said Betty Sue Miller, the library director.

Gaylard has already made a mark at the library, updating the collection, attracting bigger crowds to library programs and connecting with the community, Miller said.

“Teresa has brought a vast amount of experience,” Miller said. “She has revitalized the collection and brought it up to date.”

Gaylard, 36, joined Hoag to be closer to her family. Her mother, Susie Gaylard, was along-time employee at Swan Library.

Teresa worked at Swan from age 19 to 22. She helped run children’s programs and realized then she wanted to make it her career. Back then, before the Hoag Library opened in July 2012, Swan was cramped for space and parking spots.

Many of the library programs were held at the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church. Teresa would dress up as characters from some of the children’s books.

“It was fun to see the children get excited about the stories and characters,” she said. “That’s when I realized this is what I wanted to do.”

After Swan, she worked at the Drake Memorial Library at Brockport State College. She earned her master’s degree in library science and headed to work in Ohio at the Dayton Metro Library. She is grateful for the chance to come back to Albion doing a job she loves.

Gaylard runs four weekly story times, and she often will dress up as characters. She reads the stories, incorporates a dance and ends the stories by blowing bubbles. The routine has proven popular with young children, Miller said.

The story times are Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.

Gaylard led the reading program for seven weeks this summer and Hoag had its biggest turnout so far with 1,900 people reading books. Gaylard also motivated her co-workers to participate in the Albion Strawberry Festival with a dance with book carts to promote the summer reading program.

She has partnered with the library directors at the elementary and high schools for a “Popcorn and Paperbacks,” where students read books in the school and come to the Hoag for popcorn and a book discussion.

The library recently hired two reference librarians. Michael Magnuson started in September and Elizabeth Archer Haibach started last week.

The library also started a new program this year where children from birth to age 5 get a new book on their birthdays and at Christmas. An anonymous donor is funding the program which includes 62 children so far. Gaylard manages the program, including ordering the books. She welcomes more families to sign up for it.

Michael Magnuson, 31, started at Hoag on Sept. 4 after working as a reference librarian at the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown. He said Mowatt, his successor, built up a following in the community in her 33 years at the library.

“She set a very high bar,” Magnuson said. “I really can’t replace her.”

In addition to assisting patrons with research, Magnuson will help people use technology, whether iPads, electronic devices, smart phones or computers. He can help them to access online material with their electronic devices and computers.

Magnuson took the job in Albion partly because his fiance works at the Hamlin library. He is impressed to see how well used the Hoag Library is by local residents.

“This library gets a lot of love and support from the community,” he said.

Elizabeth Archer Haibach, 31, grew up in Albion. She worked the previous 6 ½ years for Agri-Business Child Development in Batavia as a program assistant.

She works as a reference librarian at Hoag and also will handle social media, newsletters and some donor relations. Haibach, a Kendall resident, also is bilingual and will provide a stronger link to the Spanish-speaking population in the Albion area. The library serves many English as a Second Language students.

Haibach said she has reconnected with many of her Albion classmates and other familiar faces in the community during her first week at Hoag.

“I’ve seen so many people I went to high school with and I went to church with,” she said. “It’s nice to be home.”

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