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New Fort Lupton librarians excited about next chapter

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By Tony White

Two new librarians at the Fort Lupton Public and School Library plan to embrace the library’s strong community involvement, just as the community has embraced them.

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Pam Lowe is the new teen and adult librarian, while Rebecca Parson is the children and family services librarian. Lowe spent the last 12 years working as a librarian in the Jefferson County School District. Parson, who previously lived in Parker, returned to Colorado to take the Fort Lupton job, after a stint at the Henrico County Public Library in Richmond, Virginia.

“It just seemed like a great fit. The families and patrons here have been so welcoming. It’s really been wonderful,” Parson said.

Lowe was already in the state, but said she wanted a change of scenery.

“I wanted something different, but I still wanted to work with teens and adults and the public,” Lowe said.

Both women said they have been impressed with the library’s amount of free programming and resources, especially considering the relatively small size of the community. Parson said participation numbers in Fort Lupton are noticeably higher than at her previous library, which served a much larger population.

“It was the same thing at Jefferson County. We never got these kind of program numbers, especially for adults too,” Lowe said.

The new librarians said there also seems to be a greater potential to connect with students in after-school programs since their classes are held in essentially the same building.

The close proximity also offers librarians unique opportunities to work with educators, they said. Science teachers lead free robotics classes and local artists hold free workshops, for example.

“It’s a hidden gem, especially for librarians. This is just a really nice library,” Lowe said.

In the internet age, offerings at the Fort Lupton library have expanded to everything from cultural exchange events to self-defense classes, officials say. They help adults and children alike navigate computers that are sometimes new to them.

For example, Parson said she recently helped an older man learn how to use a computer mouse and operate an email account so he could stay in touch with his granddaughter. The gentleman was flustered at first, having trouble navigating the arrow on the screen and double-clicking the mouse. But Parson gave him some guidance and stepped back while he learned on his own for a few minutes.

When the man passed a test exercise on the computer, he pumped his fist in pride, Parson said. It was a subtle gesture, but a tangible sign of a small victory, Parson said.

“That was such a great feeling. It’s such a small thing, but that’s why I do what I do,” Parson said, as her eyes began to tear up.

Parson’s formal role as the children’s librarian lets her connect with young ones too, through storytime and other gatherings. She said she loves hearing their stories and their questions.

Lowe, who works more closely with teens and adults, sees a unique opportunity to instill a lifelong interest for reading in young adults. Lowe is passionate about getting books into hands of teen readers, the fun, fiction stuff like Hunger Games, she said.

“We are so much more than books. It can be the heart of the community,” Lowe said.