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New Ada Public Library Director "has a thing for books"

Amanda Bennett, Ada Public Library’s new director, says she’s read “To Kill A Mockingbird” so many times that she can’t count the number.

She also likes books written by Jane Austin and John Steinbeck, and poems by Walt Whitman. Her first-ever job was at age 10 as a volunteer in a library.

“I’ve always been comfortable with books,” she said. Sounds as if she’s found her niche as the new director of the Ada Public Library.

Bennett, a Michigan native, joined the Ada Public Library on Oct. 1. She holds an undergraduate degree in English from Oakland University and a master’s in library and information sciences from Wayne State University.

Her most recent library post prior to coming to Ada was as children’s librarian at the Euclid Public Library.

She says that one of her goals at the library is to work more closely with the Ada school library and the Ohio Northern University library.

In November she began attending the Ada school teen book group and is providing a storytime for kindergarteners and first graders in the schools.

This month she initiated the first-ever Ada Public Library silent holiday auction. Seventeen auction baskets are now in the library through Friday, Dec. 14. Anyone may come to the library and bid on items. All proceeds from the auction support the library’s programming.

“We invited residents and businesses in the community to provide items for the auction and we are really happy with the response,” she said.

The adult book group at the library, held the first Tuesday of each month, will have a special feature in February and March.

“We will Skype with Susan Orleans, author of “Rin Tin Tin,” in February and with Carol Anshaw, author of “Carry The One,” in March,” she said.

In January Bennett will begin a book group with residents of Yorktown Senior Apartments. “I will go there for those meetings. To start our first session, we’ll have a literary Bingo game,” she said.

Other ideas Bennett hopes to launch during the next year include working with the ONU Education Department, which will involve ONU students doing projects in the library.

“I also want to get some murals painted in the kid’s book area,” she said.

One additional program prior to Christmas is a visit from Santa Claus, who will visit the library from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Dec. 10, in the library reading room.

Also in December the library will conduct a “holiday feet for fines program.” From Dec. 5 to Dec. 17 patrons may pay off their library fines and help others at the same time.

The program is sponsored by the ONU Women, in collaboration with The Friends of the Ada Public Library.

Here’s how it works: Patrons may pay library fines (not eligible for lost book fees) in the following manner -

1 pair of NEW kid’s shoes (no flip flops) = $5 worth of fines
1 pair of NEW gloves = $5 worth of fines
1 NEW hat or scarf = $5 worth of fines
1 pair of NEW kid’s socks = $1 worth of fines.

All of the collected items will be donated to Helping Hands, a Hardin County charity that will give shoes and socks to local children in need.