TAKING THE WHEEL — Bridgette Heinz is the new director at the Hulbert Library of the Town of Concord and she\'s ready to make some changes to spice up the stacks.
SPRINGVILLE — Bridgette Heintz remembers bringing her two daughters to the Reinstein Memorial Library in Cheektowaga and Amhersts’s Eggertsville-Snyder Branch, over the years, as one of her most formative library experiences.
“I was a newbie, seeing what veteran librarians did with their programs, seeing what worked and what didn’t,” she said.
Bringing her daughters to the library gave Heintz a chance to sharpen her skills, while giving the kids a chance to enjoy local library programs – like story time and Star Wars Lightsaber training at the Eggertsville-Snyder Branch. “My daughter really liked that one,” she said.
Heintz, now the director of the Hulbert Library of the Town of Concord, wants to bring some of the programs she enjoyed with her daughters along to Springville.
“I’m taking bits and pieces from veteran librarians,” she said.
Heintz is a 14-year vet of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system and lives in Cheektowaga with her husband and their two daughters, ages 2 and 9. She began her career as a page at the former Brighton branch library in Tonawanda. After becoming a clerk in Aurora, and then a library associate and branch manager at the Lake Shore Library in Hamburg, she went back to school. In 2012, Heintz earned her Master of Library Science degree, with a concentration in children’s reference and programming, from the University at Buffalo.
As of Aug. 26, Heintz has stepped in as director of the Hulbert Library, for Annette Gernatt, who retired after 47 years of service. And Heintz didn’t waste the opportunity to learn from her predecessor.
Before settling into her new post, Heintz said she spent hours going over the details of running the library with Gernatt. “It’s refreshing, yet daunting,” Heintz said of the director position. As a library manager in Hamburg, she recalled never having to worry too much about financial details or, “what if the roof breaks?” Though that’s only a hypothetical example, she says - Heintz was quick to note that the Town of Concord, who owns the Hulbert Library building at 18 Chapel St. in Springville, has been very friendly and supportive toward the library.
She is confident, though, in her staff and the town, who have been “very welcoming.”
“I’m walking into a really good staff and a really good collection,” said Heintz.
She looks forward to continuing a story time for younger library patrons, and expanding the activities and events offered by the library. “I want to see some more programs in here,” she said. “You’ve got to give people something to do, outside the home. You’ve got to keep them interested.”
To that end, Heintz has introduced a lapsit, which offers reading, fingerplays and other activities for children aged six months to two years; a pumpkin party for 3- to 6-year-olds and a six-and-up “Creapy Crawly Creativity” program, which aims to teach kids all about spiders.
For older patrons, the library offers book clubs, genealogy training and classes on the use of e-readers. Heintz hopes to expand computer training as well.
In the meantime, the library has won a $3,000 portion of a New York state grant, shepherded by State Senator Patrick Gallivan, for technology upgrades.
Heintz emphasized that she is open to patron input, especially when it comes to the library’s collection. “If you don’t see anything you want, tell us,” she said.
Library users can suggest purchases, she noted, by visiting www.buffalolib.org and navigating to the “Catalog” tab. From the catalog search page, users can click on “Suggest a Purchase” to leave feedback.
Most of all, Heintz said she wants to serve her patrons. “I want people to know we’re here for them.”
She encouraged people to stop in to the library to see the collection, and to learn about the programs on offer.
The Hulbert Library calendar is also available at www.buffalolib.org by clicking on “Concord Public Library” under “Library Locations.”