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Morning Sun
  • Library introduces new director Bev Clarkson

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    Bev Clarkson was pleased to greet all those wishing her congratulations after becoming the Pittsburg Public Library's new director. But one particular well-wisher couldn't say much. 


    That's because the puppet "B.B. Wolf" — the B.B. is short for Big Bad — is Clarkson's alter ego.

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    Bev Clarkson was pleased to greet all those wishing her congratulations after becoming the Pittsburg Public Library's new director. But one particular well-wisher couldn't say much. 
    That's because the puppet "B.B. Wolf" — the B.B. is short for Big Bad — is Clarkson's alter ego.
    "Not every library director has her own puppet," Clarkson said. "I've done many a puppet show, but no one ever knows because I'm hidden behind the counter."
    A reception was held Thursday to introduce Clarkson as director, following in the stead of Pat Clement, who recently retired. It is the result of 13 years of work at the library for Clarkson, who started in June 2000 as a part time adult services employee. 
    It was actually Clement that asked Clarkson to join the library full-time. There were a few rough years, though.
    "For four years, I was a single mother," Clarkson said. "I worked intensive classes once a month for a whole weekend, Friday evening, all day Saturday and half of Sunday."
    After completing her master's degree, Clarkson was named the assistant director two years later. Over the years, Clarkson has worked with youth services, adult services, and young adults.
    That was reflected in the collection of books Clarkson put together to reflect her ideal bookshelf. The books ranged from "Minnie and Moo" to "Captain Underpants" to a "To Kill a Mockingbird" audio book to Stephen King books to "Game of Thrones."
    There will be some changes as director, but Clarkson said she's looking forward to the new role.
    "I'll have a lot of administrative decisions, but I'll still get to do programming," Clarkson said. "I still want to talk to people about books. That's what I love to do and what I think I'm good at."
    It'll be busy right away, with summer reading programs putting the pressure on quickly. 
    "It's a privilege to serve as library director. I've been going here for over 40 years. I know so many that think so well of the efforts we've done here. I feel like I've been entrusted with this position. I do take that seriously," Clarkson said.
    There are some changes in the industry taking place, and Clarkson's aware of and reaching out. Rather than buying a single book, she's often buying that same book in five or more formats. But she said there's something fundamental of the print format.
    A native of Weir, Clarkson soon ran out of books at the Weir Library and visited the library first at age 8 to read the whole set of Nancy Drew books at the Pittsburg library.
    "Everybody feels like they own a little part of the library. And they do. Everybody is equal in the eyes of the library. It's equal opportunity to make of it what you want," Clarkson said.  
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