By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
King joins staff at Great Bend Public Library
New self-contained audio books available
new slt library king
Jennifer King is the new Young Adult/Marketing Librarian at Great Bend Public Library. She is holding an audio book with self-contained player, which is also new to the library. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune





Jennifer King may have found her dream job at the Great Bend Public Library.

"I’m a bit of a book nerd," said King, who has a bachelor’s degree in English and theater from McPherson College and a master’s in English from Emporia State University. She had experience working at the Pottawatomie-Wabaunsee Regional Library, and she had some experience doing promotion work for the theater at McPherson College. When she saw the job description for a Young Adult/Marketing Librarian in Great Bend, it sounded like something she wanted to do.

"My position is relatively new," King said. Terri Hurley retired from her job as Great Bend Public Library’s public relations director on March 31, after 34-years of service to the library. There’s a children’s librarian and a reference librarian, but until now GBPL has been without a librarian whose primary focus is promoting literature geared to young adults.

King started work on July 25.

"I hope to get some teens in here," she said. The library already offers monthly after-school movies for children, family movie nights and even adults-only movie nights, but King said she wants to have regular movie nights for teenagers. She also plans to schedule some game nights.

The library recently wrapped up its 2011 summer reading program, during which 3,927 books were read.

New Playaway® books

In addition to a new librarian, GBPL has a new kind of all-in-one audio book, the Playaway. Each unabridged book is about the size of an MP3 player and is pre-loaded into a self-playing digital media player. Patrons supply their own AAA battery and headphones, although the library does sell ear buds for $1, King said.

The books are part of the Kansas Floating Playaway Collection, purchased by the State Library of Kansas with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. They can be checked out for the same amount of time as printed books. There are several selections at the Great Bend library, and patrons can also request other titles in the statewide collection.