New Library Director in Greenup Keeps Library Soaring
Libraries are magical places, full of adventure and information and fun, a place where the community can find all kinds of activities. “I want people to think of the library as a destination, a place people want to go and spend time,” said Tim Gampp, new director at the Greenup County Public Library.
As director and librarian at the main branch, Gampp oversees three public libraries and two bookmobiles. Besides Greenup, there are branch libraries in South Shore (McKell) and Flatwoods.
“Instead of people running to the movies or the mall or Lexington, I want people to see the library as a destination,” he said. “I want to see books flying off the shelves.”
Of course, modern libraries offer much more than books, as he is quick to point out. There are DVDs to check out, magazines and newspapers to read, and activities for adults and children. The Greenup library will feature a dinner and movie event February 10, at 6 p.m. “I’m not sure what they’re serving for dinner, but the movie will be Black Panther – Wakanda Forever.”
Gampp, who started January 1, stepped into big shoes when he took the GCPL job. Sharon Haines and, before her, Dorothy Griffith, spent many years in the GCPL system. “I’m still understanding the programs going on here. Sharon left it in good shape.”
The library also offers Libby, which allows library card holders to borrow books to download their Kindle or other device. Hoopla is a streaming service that features audio and e-books, and Kanopy which streams some shows, documentaries, BBC, and children’s programming.
Gampp graduated from Shawnee State University with a degree in fine arts and soon discovered there were not many fine arts opportunities in southern Ohio. He answered an advertisement for a library branch manager in Portsmouth in 1998. “I fell in love with libraries,” he said, and went on to get a master’s degree in library and information science from Kent State University.
He has spent time as a librarian in Rowan County before coming to Greenup, and before that was a regional consultant for the State Library of Kentucky, overseeing 15 to 20 libraries in eastern Kentucky. “I learned a lot about eastern Kentucky from traveling around,” Gampp commented.
Gampp is proud of the programs currently offered in the GCPL system. There are weekly story hours at each library, Wednesdays in Greenup, Tuesdays in Flatwoods, and Thursdays at McKell. “Vickie Hughes does a wonderful job with the kids,” he said. Dr. Seuss Day will be celebrated March 4 and 11 at the Greenup branch, featuring green eggs and ham, a scavenger hunt, crafts, games and prizes.
A Get Crafty event is planned February 6 at the McKell branch. Participants will learn to create a stacked book décor item. The Flatwoods branch plans to offer an after school program, starting February 9, for kids age 7-12. Anyone interested should call the library for registration information for any of these events.
Gampp stated, “We hope to appeal to the younger generation by offering some new gaming programs.” Plans for this are not finalized, but Gampp has an area in mind, with wall space for a TV. This area is near the Jesse Stuart section of the library, which features a glass case of first edition Stuart books, many autographed by Stuart, one of Greenup County’s most renowned citizens.
Gampp pointed out that the library’s genealogy services are one of the more popular functions. An entire room is dedicated to historical and genealogy information. Many residents come in daily to browse through the family information collected over the years. There are also copies of newspaper from days gone by, including a few Ashland newspapers dating back to 1889, Russell Times editions from 1917, and the Greenup paper from 1935. “We are digitizing these, making it easier to find articles and obituaries,” he explained.
He also pointed out that citizens can get tax help beginning February 1, extending through tax season. Go to the Greenup branch to put your name on the list; you will be given a packet of information to fill out, and a tax consultant will contact you to set up an appointment.
For more information on GCPL programming, or to register for an upcoming event, check the library’s web site or call 473-6514.