Laurie Talerico is the new librarian in Indian Rocks Beach.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Indian Rocks Beach has a new librarian. Laurie Talerico was appointed two months ago and succeeds Jane Mitchell who retired.
Talerico said she looked upon the job as one that fit what she was looking for.
“I liked the idea of being a librarian in a beach community,” she said. “It looked like it might be fun and challenging, and so far it has been.”
Talerico comes qualified for the job. She’s had 14 years of experience in the library business, having worked in the field for the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office, St. Pete College and in the Hillsborough Public Library system. As well she also worked at the Pinellas Talking Book library.
A native of Washington, D.C., she moved to Pinellas County in her last year of Junior High School and has been here ever since. She has two Masters Degrees, in Library Science and in Humanities. Not comfortable disclosing her age, she describes herself as middle-aged.
Even though she’s new on the job, it didn’t take Talerico long to recognize the value of the volunteers at the library.
“Volunteers are absolutely critical,” she said. “They help run the library. In fact 40 years ago, in November 1974, a strong group of volunteers got together and formed the library. They had a couple of card tables and $60 worth of books. Now we have over 18,000 books and DVD’s for circulation.”
The IRB library is an independent. It is not part of the Pinellas County Library Co-operative as the bigger libraries are, but there is a working relationship.
“We have reciprocal borrowing privileges,” said Talerico. “We are not full-fledged members, but people from other libraries can come and borrow our books, just as our citizens can go to them and borrow books. The difference is they must return the books to the library where they got them. We don’t share their delivery system, just our physical resources, the books.”
The library serves more than just IRB. Residents of Indian Shores, Belleair Beach and Belleair Shore are all eligible to become members of the IRB library. In addition local snowbirds are welcome.
“We value the participation of our seasonal residents,” said Talerico. “We extend full services to them.”
Talerico said she has plans in the works for some new programs at the library, and she’s excited by what’s in store.
“People can stay tuned. We have new adult and children’s programming coming up,” she said. “On March 5, a Wednesday morning, we have a guest speaker from Pinellas County coming to talk about identity theft; it is National Consumer Protection week. There is more educational and recreational programming on the horizon.”
Talerico said she intends to be the IRB librarian for a while. She can’t imagine a better place to be.
“It is a wonderful library, a cozy community library where everybody knows everybody and it is a fun place to spend the day,” she said. “I intend to hang around for a while, absolutely; it is a wonderful place to be. It is a very social job, I love meeting people and helping and I can’t think of a better way to spend my day.”