WEST JEFFERSON — From a young age, Ashlin Edmisten always knew she wanted to be a librarian, and she is continuing to realize that dream as Ashe County Public Library’s new youth services librarian.
Holding a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in public libraries with a concentration in children’s services, Edmisten said she always loved the library. In her role as Ashe County’s youth services librarian, she will be working closely with the community and its youth to determine their needs.
“That’s the most important question,” Edmisten said. “What can we — the library — do for you?”
She said her main focus will be getting struggling readers into the library to offer them help, while also partnering with the schools, 4-H programs and homeschoolers in the county.
Her excitement for the job stems largely from its variety, saying that there is always something new.
“You can see the joy in kids who love to read, and then you can slowly turn on a switch,” Edmisten said.
For those who might not enjoy reading, Edmisten said she enjoys figuring out what interests them to spark their curiosity. She added that there is a variety of other options besides books to help in that endeavor, including computers, games and other activities.
“You can turn anybody into a library lover,” Edmisten said.
As a child, she said she spent a lot of time in libraries. Her grandmother, who worked for a congressman, used Ashe County’s library as a satellite office, she said. During those years, Edmisten would join her grandmother at the Ashe County library, spending a lot of time wandering through its rows of books, she said.
Because of her involvement in the library from a young age, Edmisten said she dreamed of becoming a librarian since the age of 7. Before starting in Ashe, she served as the youth services specialist at the Wilkes County Public Library.
One of the programs Edmisten has already introduced to the Ashe County Public Library since starting on Aug. 26 is “Maker Monday,” which she said will spark children’s curiosity to create solutions for everyday problems. The first event is slated for Monday, Sept. 23, starting at 4 p.m.
“The library, the people, the coworkers,” Edmisten said, “I love it. This place is amazing.”