Colvin: Engaging young readers is key

Published 3:00 am Friday, February 13, 2015

Teresa Colvin helps Joshua Hutchins pick out a book during a recent visit to the Troy Public Library.

Teresa Colvin helps Joshua Hutchins pick out a book during a recent visit to the Troy Public Library.

Teresa Colvin is one of the few people in Troy who could say she works in a castle.

As a children and young adult librarian, Colvin’s workspace at the Troy Public Library is designed like a fantasy castle and is just one of the unique areas created when the library recently moved to its new building.

“It’s very refreshing to work in such a beautiful building,” Colvin said. “The kids enjoy it more than I do. To me it’s a nice office but to them, they’re stepping into a castle when they come.”

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Colvin has worked in the library for 20 years, and she said her job is “pretty awesome.”

“The most rewarding feeling is when I listen to a child learn to read the first time,” Colvin said. “It is such a joy to see the sparkle in their eyes and see the excitement when they try to show me what they can do.”

It is important to build the bond with children when they first learn to read and maintain it when they grow up and can read for themselves, Colvin said.

“I find it very uplifting to see how proud they are with themselves with such a major accomplishment,” she said.

Colvin said she decided to become a librarian because of her love for children and her own experience with reading.

“I understand how difficult (reading) can be,” Colvin said. “When I was younger, I struggled as a reader. I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was in college.

“I didn’t find out much later how important it is to read. Reading can be a chore but once you overcome that, it opens up so many doors …

That’s why our tutoring program is so close to my heart. Sometimes if you have to work harder for something, you would enjoy and appreciate it more.”

As part of her job, Colvin oversees the library’s tutoring program which utilizes volunteers to help children with reading and other school subjects. She said she enjoyed working with Troy University in this program to build a bond of literacy.

She is also in charge of collection development, deciding which books to bring to the library based on professional reviews.

“We make sure that with our selections, books will fly off the shelves and get the children interested,” Colvin said. “Our main goals are to keep the children coming in now and to see them come in as adults, becoming life-long learners.”

According to Colvin, her programs are designed for readers from babies to young adults, aiming to keep them reading through their transitional periods.

“My favorite part of the job is the children,” Colvin said. “I love seeing them smile and getting excited when they take an armful of books home.

“We hope to get them excited about books and reading. I have had several children come to me and said they wanted to be a librarian. That’s an honor for me to hear that.”

Colvin said she believes people would be surprised by the enthusiasm among young readers.

“You will see the wonderful things going on here, the joy of reading and the kids learning,” she said.