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franklin county times

New director takes helm at Russellville Public Library

Joshlyn Bowen jumped into her new role as director of the Russellville Public Library May 16.

The Russellville City Council appointed Bowen as the next library director during its April 4 meeting.

Bowen got her start as a library volunteer in May 2021 after spending a lot of time at RPL using library resources to work on personal projects. “I really wanted to be more active within the community,” she explained, “and I wanted to get my youngest child more active in the library.”

In her new role, Bowen said she wants to reach out and get all ages of the community more involved in library programs and in understanding the resources it has to offer. She said she’s looking forward to continuing to help library patrons, noting people come to the library for all kinds of reasons – ranging from entertainment to research.

In addition to the print books, the library has a color copier, computers and Wi-Fi and loans digital books, including audiobooks. The Wi-Fi can be accessed from outside as well as inside.

There is no charge for a library card.

Low-cost used books are available for purchase.

“I plan on having a lot of programs geared not only toward children, teenagers and young adults but also toward the older population,” Bowen said. “I want to target the interests in every age group.”

She said she also wants to seek sponsorships to help increase what the library is able to offer, such as Pilgrim’s recent donation to fully sponsor this year’s summer reading program. Bowen said sponsorships are important because they enable the library to reserve its budget for other needs.

For Bowen, community outreach will play a big role in her approach to leading the library. She’s also the marketing director of Willow Oak Lodge, and she said her experience in that role will be of benefit in helping to better publicize the library, raise awareness of what it has to offer and seek community assistance to help it continue to grow.

“I’m really looking forward to taking on this new role,” said Bowen. “My goal for the library is to bring life to it – make it even more beautiful and inviting, both inside and out. I want to draw people in and help them see all it has to offer.”

Bowen was recognized during a welcoming ceremony held in the library May 17 after the library board meeting. The reception was attended by library employees, board members and local elected officials.

Beginning Monday, May 23, the library’s new hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library will be closed May 28 to have the carpets cleaned.

Registration has maxed out for the library’s summer reading program, but additional activities and programs will be offered. For more information, visit the Russellville Public Library Facebook page, email ruslib110@yahoo.com or call 256-332-1535. The library is located at 110 Lawrence Street E.

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