Amy Ambler is not only the children’s librarian at the Free Library of Springfield Township, but she is also a baseball-lover, Harry Potter geek, and general children’s literacy advocate, who no longer takes indoor plumbing for granted.
Amy’s states that her job is full of variety and fun. Her main responsibility is to help children and families find what they’re looking for, and recommend good books for them. In addition, she gets to plan and create the different programs that the library hosts, like story times, special events, and summer reading club. She also looks for exciting new books and materials for the library collection.
Below are questions we asked of Amy and her responses:
What is a service that you wish more people knew about or utilized at the library?
There are two services we offer on our website that introduce kids to books in a more visual way and that can be easily accessed at home or on vacation! The first service is Tumblebooks, which is a site that allows kids to view animated books that are read aloud. There is a wide variety of books, including picture books and early chapter books. The second service is BookFlix, which allows kids to watch animated videos of popular children’s books (with a read-along feature) and matches them with non-fiction books, which can be read online. Both of these services can be accessed from the E-Resources page of our website. There is a link for Tumblebooks right on that page, and BookFlix is accessed through the POWER Library link, in its children’s resources section.
How can the community get involved with or support the library?
A great way to support us is to come in and learn about our services, take advantage of the materials we have to offer, and attend programs that we hold. Feedback is also a much appreciated way to get involved; I love getting feedback from parents and families about what they’re looking for from our children’s programs and when is the best time to hold them. Providing feedback through informal conversations or surveys we might put out is extremely helpful to the library’s efforts to provide the best possible services for the community.
On the Personal Side…4>
What’s your favorite thing about Springfield?
The genuine community atmosphere. I admire the way the community pulls together to help local families and individuals in times of need and supports the community as a whole, whether that involves the schools, our library, or local businesses. It’s a caring community, and this also comes through in the families I see at the library. So many have taken the time to get to know me and chat with me in the 2 and ½ years I’ve been here, and that is very much appreciated.
Do you have a favorite event in Springfield?
I really enjoyed representing the library at Community Day a few years ago, and I would love to see this event come back. It was great to see everyone together having fun and learning more about what the community has to offer. Plus, it was very entertaining to see the kids’ faces when they realized that I actually left the library sometimes!
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love, love, love to read, of course! I also enjoy hiking and kayaking, especially now that warmer weather has arrived. I love tennis and baseball, and the Phillies in particular. Spending time with my friends is also a favorite activity for me. Being an honorary “aunt” to their children is fantastic.
What superpowers would you choose if you could choose one?
The ability to fly
If you had just one wish, what would it be?
That all kids would have a chance and an opportunity to have a positive experience with books and reading, and develop an appreciation for it.
Have you traveled internationally?
Nowhere as of yet, but I hope to plan a trip to Costa Rica for 2015!
Where have you visited in the US and which location is your favorite?
I’ve visited so many beautiful locations, like the Grand Canyon, Mount Rainier National Park, and the Oregon coast, and lots of fun cities, like San Diego, Los Angeles, and Chicago. But my favorite place in the U.S. is Acadia National Park in Maine. Gorgeous beach and mountain views, tons of hiking trails, and many kayaking opportunities.
What’s your favorite invention or something you can’t live without?
I would normally choose something technology-related, like my smartphone, but after camping for a weekend in a yurt in the Colorado mountains in minus-10-degree weather, I was convinced that indoor plumbing is the greatest invention of all time.
Do you support any causes or non-profit organizations?
There are lots of great causes, but there are two that are close to my heart. First Book provides new books for children in need. It’s a wonderful organization that gives new books to children in schools and programs that otherwise would not have access to them. The Joyful Heart Foundation is an organization dedicated to healing, education, and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. I deeply respect and admire the way it seeks to shed light on these issues and strives to create a world without these issues.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Amy. The next time you visit the library, say hello, and let her know that you read her profile on our site. If you have children, she can certainly recommend books and help explain other services offered by the library.