GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Mary Slamin still remembers her mother's voice reading "Winnie the Pooh" at bedtime. Even now, her face lights up with a smile. As the children's head librarian at the Greenburgh Public Library , she inspires children to understand the power of books.
"I've seen it over and over with people," said Slamin. "Some say that books don't matter. But I think there will always be a place for books. They will never be replaced."
Since 1981, Slamin has helped Greenburgh's younger residents realize how important it is to get lost in a story. Reading constantly throughout her childhood helped Slamin become a better librarian as she was already familiar with most of the books.
The physical nature of holding a book and reading to a child is what Slamin calls a "special bond." Even though the library now offers free eBook and Audiobook downloads, her department also offers "Story Time" programs for children to listen to an exciting book.
In high school, after Slamin took the SATs, a counselor asked her how she could score so high on the verbal section yet so low on the math.
"And I attribute that all to reading," Slamin said. "I think that books can be such a wonderful learning tool. You can learn anything from a book."
Slamin is sometimes described as the "mother hen" by former patrons. She said that being a long-time Greenburgh librarian gives her a greater appreciation of her community ties.
"The Greenburgh people have always been so supportive of the library," said Slamin. "They've always believed in the library. And that's why I've stayed here so long. They've been a wonderful population to serve."
Currently living in Ossining, Slamin spends her spare time reading, gardening and doting on her two Chihuahuas.
For more information about any programs or events offered by the Greenburgh Library's children's department, call 914-721-8200.
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