By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Southborough – Kim Ivers reports to work as children’s librarian with a lifetime of memories and experience at her hometown’s Southborough Library. She’s been employed there for 20 years, the past 18 as children’s librarian.
“My mother started bringing me to this library when I was 2,” she recalled. “We’d check out piles of books every time.”
At the time, the Children’s Room was located in a small space where meetings and book sales now take place. The children’s librarian was Jeannette “Jay” Curtin, who offered Ivers a volunteer position.
“I started here at the library as a volunteer when I was age 9,” Ivers said. “I was behind the desk in the Children’s Room, signing books out to people, checking books in and shelving stuff.”
At age 15, she was hired as a library page. After graduating from Algonquin Regional High School in 1990, she attended Wheelock College in Boston and transferred to Framingham State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She received a master’s degree in library science at Simmons College.
“I went to college locally, so I could come back during vacations or if they needed somebody for a weekend,” she said. “When I got out of college, there was a job ready for me here.”
Ivers continued working as a library page up through age 21. Her work responsibilities included both the adult services upstairs and the Children’s Room downstairs.
“The library was having the addition built during that time,” she noted. “One summer the building was closed, but we were here lugging all the books back to the shelves to reopen after the addition was completed.”
After a couple years working mostly upstairs in adult services, she moved downstairs to the Children’s Room alongside her childhood mentor.
“I started working more with Mrs. Curtin, doing story times and summer reading programming,” she relayed.
When Curtin retired in 1998 after working there for 34 years, Ivers was named children’s librarian.
“By then, I knew the library, the patrons, the town and what was expected of me,” she said. “I saw how Mrs. Curtin ran the programs. Some programs I wanted to keep and some I wanted to change.”
Ivers has served as interim director of the Southborough Library three times. Each time she also continued working as children’s librarian.
“What I had to do for each job was vastly different,” she noted. “It was almost funny. Sometimes I’d be doing Toddler Time, sitting on the floor and singing with 2-year old babies and puppets, and then I’d have to go directly to a selectmen’s meeting. One time when I went to a meeting after a kids program, a selectman said, ‘You might want to take the stickers off your shirt.’”
The second time that Ivers served as interim director was in 2007. Following a several-month search for a director, she decided to accept the job. As director, she hired a children’s librarian who left unexpectedly after working a year.
“I went to the board and told them that I’m really a lot happier being children’s librarian and asked if I could possibly go back to my old job,” she explained.
Ivers continued working both positions through March 2009. Since then, she has been happily greeting young patrons and their families as children’s librarian.
“In the Children’s Room, I get to spend more time with our patrons and doing what I enjoy,” she said.
Now living in Blackstone, Ivers also enjoys working in the town where she was raised.
“Southborough is a great town,” she declared. “I grew up here and I’ll always call myself a Southboroughite.”