LIHUE — There’s a new librarian in town.
The new head librarian of the Lihue Public Library is Sierra Hampton-Eng. She had been the young adult librarian for the past four years. She’s married to Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar.
This is both a sad time and a happy time. Sad because Branch Manager Carolyn Larson has retired and will be dearly missed. Happy because Hampton-Eng is at the helm steering the Lihue Public Library into new and exciting voyages of discovery.
The librarians of Lihue Public Library are hosting a variety of engaging programs to build community and support literacy and life-long learning.
This month, Children’s Librarian Victoria Lam is hosting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) night challenges, which encourage children to collaborate with their parents or caregivers to design things like balloon-powered Lego cars and miniature water slides. She also hosts a weekly baby time.
“It’s amazing to be in a room with 16 babies. To be around all of that energy and to see the different developmental stages and watch how the babies interact with each other,” Hampton-Eng said.
“It’s also a great opportunity for parents in the midst of new parenthood to connect and support each other. I still think of myself as a new mom, and I would have loved to have had a space to talk to other parents about all of the feelings and fears that come up with having a new baby. I am proud that the library is providing a space for that.”
Another popular program is the Teen Chess Club (for teens in grades 6 to 12) that meets weekly and holds monthly chess tournaments.
The Teen Chess Club has a new and formidable coach in Kauai High sophomore and Kauai Chess Tournament Champion Valor Mexia.
“Beginners are welcome,” Hampton-Eng said. “I can teach you how to play, but Valor will teach you how to win. I have learned a lot about chess from losing to Valor.”
A new program will be co-hosting a student poetry contest with Dawn Kawahara and the Live Poets Society.
The library is partnering with other community leaders like the Alliance for Science to bring in speakers on current trends on topics like renewable energy and epidemiology.
Lam has been partnering with Gina Medrano to offer a new and very popular preschool yoga program. Other projects include a redesign of the children’s space. Teen Turf (a special section where teens gather) will have new art on display. The library will continue its outreach with King Kaumualii Elementary School first-graders, Tutu and Me, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School 8th Grade Book Club and the Hawaii Association of College Admission Counselors.
For more information about Lihue Public Library programs call the library at 241-3222.