Jessica Kelly, originally from Rocanville, started as the adult programming co-ordinator at the Estevan Public Library (EPL) in early January, and she said that so far everything has been "very good" and she is enjoying the Estevan facility.
Kelly recently graduated from Dalhousie University with a master's degree in librarian information studies. She took her undergrad at the University of Regina's Luther College.
"I got very lucky. There was a job opening for a student position at the Luther College Library. I got along really well with the library co-ordinator there, and she encouraged me to look into taking my master's in library sciences," Kelly recalled.
She was able to get a maternity leave position at the same library right after she graduated from the University of Regina, deepening her experience in the field.
"That really consolidated that that was a kind of a position I wanted to be in. I wanted to be a librarian," Kelly said.
She ended up graduating virtually, as it happened during the first months of the pandemic, and later got a temporary job at the Rocanville library, which also enhanced her experience.
"I was working with the Rocanville Public Library for a little bit on another maternity leave position. And since it's within the same library system as Estevan, they pulled me up and asked if I'd be interested in interviewing for an adult programmer position here. I said, 'Yes.' And I was very fortunate to be given the job opportunity," Kelly said.
While all programs are running virtually at this time at the EPL, Kelly is currently focusing on making the best virtual programs that will help as many people as possible in the community. Some of the programs include take-home creative kits, while others supply some videos or are based on virtual contests. Kelly is also hoping to line up some virtual events with guest speakers later down the line.
Several programs are up online already on their Facebook page and YouTube channel. Kelly said she'll continue with some of the existing programs and will also bring in new options, with some coming already in the near future.
"I'm looking into starting a virtual Bingo hopefully by March," Kelly said, adding that it will be a different flavour of Bingo.
While Kelly recently moved to Estevan, the community wasn't new for her.
"Estevan is a very nice city. I'm very lucky, I have some family members here. And when I was younger I used to spend a week or two in the summertime with the family members, which was always nice. So it's interesting coming back as an adult and seeing all the changes that have happened in the city."
Kelly also said that her current position is a great start to a librarian’s career.
"I'm very excited to share all my programs with the Estevan community," she added.
EPL branch manager Jason Redshaw also said that they are happy with the new hire. He pointed out that Kelly's master's degree in the field, as well as her southeast Saskatchewan origin, will be assets to the library.
Redshaw added that they are looking forward to 2021 programming and hope that it will return to an in-person format soon.
"For 2021 the library will be implementing some new and exciting ideas throughout the year. Programs will continue in the new year virtually - but will offer a good mix of adult, children, family and teen programs. When it is safe to do so again the library will be offering in-person programming and new types of events the library has never experienced before. 2021 is going to be a great and fun year at the library," Redshaw said.