Tuckerton Branch Library Has New Librarian

Feb 20, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson Cindy Simerlink is the new branch librarian at Tuckerton Library.

Tuckerton’s new branch librarian, Cindy Simerlink, a native of Dayton, Ohio, recently transplanted to Little Egg Harbor when her husband was recruited for a new job in Atlantic County. She has worked for a year in the Little Egg Harbor branch as the teen librarian, a job she sincerely enjoyed. But being a branch librarian is more in line with her credentials as she has a master’s degree in library science. In Dayton she was responsible for training the 400 employees of the Dayton library system in software applications. Three weeks ago she was promoted to Tuckerton when that position opened up.

“I really enjoyed working with the teens and it’s sad to be leaving them, but I was ready to develop a new set of skills,” she said.

While at Little Egg, Simerlink would go to the junior high school once a week in the lunchroom and be available to suggest books and also check them out. “I love to connect people with books.

“I told the teens they could always visit me at the Tuckerton Library.”

Since she has been at the new branch for only three weeks, she is still assessing what might be improved. “My style is to ease into a situation, and then figure out what needs to be adjusted.”

How does she like working in the smaller library, Ocean County’s oldest continuous library?

“There are nice people who work here, and they pretty much know everyone who comes in and what they are looking for. When new books come in, they will even put things aside for someone they know will like them; that’s a bit of a rarity in today’s world.”

Simerlink grew up in Beaver Creek, a suburb of Dayton. Her library was initially a shop in a strip mall. “And then they built a stand-alone branch, a dark red, brick building that seemed huge when I was a young person, and I was still a young person when they had to expand it.”

Dayton has a major air-force base, Wright-Patterson. It was named Wright for the Wright Brothers, who built the first airplane in Dayton and then trucked it to Kitty Hawk for the first flight. Patterson was the name of an inventor who started National Cash Register, explained Simerlink. “There’s a wonderful museum of ornate cash registers in Dayton.”

“I’ve always been a huge reader. At Christmas when I was a child, I would get tons of books. Some were new, but others were from the library, so I knew I had to read those first so they could go back. My mother wanted me to have lots, so she gift-wrapped them.

“I loved Nancy Drew books, and my favorite kid’s book is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I read as much as I could of her. Once I find a favorite author whose voice I enjoy, I tend to read all I can until I get burned out on them.

“Louisa May Alcott is my favorite children’s author. I have all her books including the lesser-known ones: Jack and Jill is my favorite, I think. It’s all about children striving to become better people.

“My favorite mystery author is Dorothy L. Sayers and her protagonist Lord Peter Wimsey. I once had a vanity plate with Wimsey on it. I also love Lois McMasters Bujold, a science fiction/fantasy writer. I love the worlds she creates.

“I really enjoy Kerry Greenwood, an Australian writer, and her character Phrynee Fisher. I discovered her books a ways back, and now they’ve turned it into a TV series, ‘The Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries.’ I love her writing style – very clever, very witty. Her characters are delightful, and she explores the social issues of her time.

“I’m a genre reader at heart: mystery, fantasy, science fiction. I love making recommendations to adult readers, too.

“But today, libraries are not just books – they have so much more to offer in digital resources. It’s about connecting people to the information they want.

“Everyone should have a library card and check out our databases. We have data on how to repair cars, consumer reports online. If you are doing your master’s, we can help you, but we can also help you when you are doing your ordinary life.

“We stream movies and music – why pay for them when you can get them free from the library? Your tax dollars have already paid for them,” she said. “We have Lynda.com in our database for teaching tech skills, and we have genealogy sites to use for free. If there is content out there that you pay for, check with the library first; we may have it for free.

“You could use your library card every day and not set foot in a library. You can even apply for a library card online. You just have to come in and show your ID when you pick it up.”

Simerlink’s undergraduate degree is in theater and English, and she loves to use her theater skills during children’s story time, every Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Tuckerton Library.

She also offers to give a short talk to any organization that would like to know how to use the library’s resources to further their mission.

Drop into the Tuckerton Library at 380 Bay Ave. to meet Simerlink, or call 609-296-1470.

— Pat Johnson


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