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Cumberland welcomes new youth librarian

Cumberland Public Libraries has welcomed Fiona Watson as its new youth librarian. She began her duties earlier this month, and joined Maggie’s Place for a story and singing program on Wednesday.
Cumberland Public Libraries has welcomed Fiona Watson as its new youth librarian. She began her duties earlier this month, and joined Maggie’s Place for a story and singing program on Wednesday. - Andrew Wagstaff

Watson plans to focus on diversity, community engagement

AMHERST, N.S. – Barely two weeks into her job replacing Jenn Atkinson as youth librarian at the Cumberland Public Libraries, Fiona Watson has one immediate goal.

“Right now, I’m trying to fill the Jenn-shaped hole,” said Watson. “She was fantastic, laid everything out, and I think she served the community really well. I want to make sure I do everything she was doing, because it’s such a good template.”

Once she feels comfortably settled in, she wants to start bringing her own ideas to the picture.

“I really want to focus on diversity and community engagement,” she said. “For now, I’m just serving the public Jenn already gathered, and making sure they have what they need.”

Atkinson took a position at another library in Truro.

Originally from Dartmouth, Watson studied for her degree in Vancouver, B.C. before accepting the position in Amherst, beginning her duties on Jan. 2.

She focused her studies on First Nations curriculum, and has had plenty of experience working with children and youth programming. The position in Cumberland County was just what she was looking for.

“I was looking to move back to Nova Scotia, and was looking somewhere rural because rural libraries really appeal to me,” said Watson. “The size of the system is fantastic, because you’re able to have a hand in things and work directly with the public, but also be in management here. It’s kind of like a perfect intermediary.

“I get to work the desk and talk to patrons, whereas if I was in Halifax, I would just sit in my office and only talk to the people I did programming with,” she added.

On Wednesday, Watson was working with Maggie’s Place to provide a story time and sing-along program.

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