Peggy Cook has many hats she wears as the Shawnee Public Library’s branch manager. And Cook’s continued work ethic to make the library experience the best it can be for the community lasts through each work day and the weeks to come.

“It’s really exciting, it’s a wonderful opportunity to serve this community,” Cook said. “I look forward to helping people find information for their reading needs but also look forward to helping people connect with new ways to use our resources.”

This is a homecoming of sorts for Cook, who returned to Shawnee as the library’s interim branch manager in 2017 before being named permanent branch manager last year. She received her undergraduate degree at Oklahoma Baptist University, graduating in 1981, before completing her Master’s in Library Science at the University of Oklahoma in 1983. But her time at OBU was special for her and her family.

“It had always been my father’s dream for me to attend OBU. He and my mother were focused on the importance of providing a college education for their three daughters,” Cook said.

Cook has worked in several roles with the Pioneer Library System since she was hired in 1991, and now serves not only as Shawnee’s branch manager but also as a Regional Coordinator over three additional branches in the system, which serves readers in Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties. Previous to that, she served as director of the Guthrie Public Library.

She is a member of both the American Library Association and Oklahoma Library Association, each of which she has served in multiple capacities.

She has seen the technology of library service change over the years and now is pleased to be providing more STEM programs. The Pioneer Library System’s Maker Mobile is a favorite for Cook, and Shawnee staff frequently schedules the Maker Mobile for programs. This specially-built truck provides a mobile maker space with features like a three-dimensional printer.

What has not changed over the years with the library is the overriding push to help customers have their questions answered and have a great experience.

“Helping our customers connect with a great read or with information that they need and helping the staff have success with new learning or new skills to provide a high level of customer service is the goal,” Cook said.

“Our staff is excited about the opportunities to serve the community,” she continued. “We offer many programs and outreach events that have something for everyone. I look forward to coming to work every day and helping our customers have and inspiring connection with our library.

Cook and her husband Robert have two sons, Nathaniel and Matthew. She graduated high school in Cushing, where much of her extended family still lives, and is originally from Arkansas City, Kan.

Find out more about any of the programs and services of the Shawnee Public Library by calling 275-6353, going online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org/shawnee or with the Pioneer Library System Connect App, available at the App Store for Apple users or Google Play for Android devices.

Shawnee Friends to host Spring Book Sale

Expand your personal library while supporting the efforts of the Friends of the Shawnee Library at the group’s Spring Book Sale, hosted Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at the library, 101 N. Philadelphia Ave.

Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 3, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4.

The sale will feature gently-used and donated books in a variety of genres and for all age groups offered at reasonable prices.

Proceeds from the sale go to help the Friends in their financial support of library programs and activities throughout the year.

For more information, visit the library, call 275-6353 or go online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org/shawnee.

Get ready for summer with activities for young readers

The Tecumseh Public Library is giving families with young children many options to experience the library through several weekly activities.

Toddler Story Time will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursdays through Thursday, May 9, before a break prior to the start of this year’s Summer Learning Program.

The story times feature not only stories but also songs, finger plays and crafts for children and also provides literacy tips to caregivers to help their children get ready to read.

New readers also can make a new friend while practicing their reading skills in the Sit, Stay, Read program, scheduled at 4 p.m. Mondays with upcoming sessions on April 29, May 6 and May 13.

Parents or caregivers can call the library at 598-5955 to set up a time slot for their child to read to a certified therapy dog in an encouraging environment.

For more information on any of the services for children, visit the library go online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org/tecumseh.