Author Courtney Stevens joins library staff

Courtney Stevens, author of such works of young adult fiction as “Faking Normal” and “Dress Codes for Small Towns,” has joined the staff of the Warren County Public Library as community outreach manager.

Patrons browsing the stacks at the Warren County Public Library might discover a bonus these days: the author of some well-known young adult fiction books.

Courtney Stevens, author of “Faking Normal,” “The Lies about Truth” and “Dress Codes for Small Towns,” has joined the library’s staff as community outreach manager and will be working on special events and with local schools to bring the library into the communities it serves.

She moves into the role that had previously been filled by Monica Edwards, who left to oversee the public library in Monroe County.

Bringing Stevens – a Kentucky native who had been living in Nashville – to the library staff is a plus, WCPL Director Lisa Rice said.

“She is without a doubt a very talented author,” Rice said. “Above that, we’ve worked with her on events and have found that she is someone who cares deeply about helping other people.”

Stevens, who lived in Bowling Green previously and has been involved for years in the Southern Kentucky Book Fest, will be able to exercise her passions for writing and for helping others in this new role.

“Basically, she will be the face of the library,” Rice said. “She’ll work with our special projects, primarily in local schools, and make sure they’re getting what they want from the library.”

The SOKY Book Fest, an event that helped launch Stevens on her writing career through its workshops and interactions with writers, will now be one of the author’s main projects.

“We’re becoming more directly responsible for the execution of the book fest,” Rice said. “Courtney will spearhead that and the writing conferences. She’ll be responsible for making sure those things happen.”

Stevens, who started her job at the WCPL on Aug. 12, said she is excited about helping expand the library’s programming and outreach through author visits and new offerings such as the makerspace at the library’s Bob Kirby Branch that offers patrons the opportunity to create art and crafts and explore technologies such as 3D printing.

“The library offered me the opportunity to be a part of the community in ways that fill my heart,” Stevens said. “The things this library is doing are exciting to me.”

Describing the library as a “community center,” Stevens said “it reaches all populations through books but not just through books. This is right in line with what I try to do as an author.”

Although her new role promises to keep her busy, Stevens emphasized that she isn’t hanging up her word processor. In fact, her new book, “The June Boys,” is coming out in March.

“It definitely splits my time,” Stevens said of her new WCPL role. “But they know at the library that I’m an author and they see that as an asset.”

Stevens seems just as excited about coordinating events that bring other authors to town as she is about promoting her own work. She is looking forward to upcoming visits to the library by Newberry Award-winning poet Kwame Alexander and author R.J. Palacio, who wrote the best-seller “Wonder” that was made into a hit movie.

“I get to be part of that and coordinate it,” Stevens said. “That’s really exciting. I’m part of a library that is enriching the lives of everyone in Bowling Green.”

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

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(2) comments

robertdknight

Correction, there was a historical book about Presidents or something just inside the entry way. I am referring to the 100+ other books in all areas of the facility that were all exclusively female leads on every end cap in every department on every floor. So there was a real presidents book, a cartoon of George Washington, and a book about coming out as gay. All the rest were female heroines. No male protagonists in any featured location. When I was young, I used to go the library and found all sorts of good books to read by seeing male figures, like the hardy boys, and others. I was pretty sad about it, and complained. It's kind of rediculous when men and boy heros can't even be found in library featured end caps any more. Also interesting, there were all sorts of wall decorations -- every picture was female and the only male character on the wall was spiderman with a mask on his face. All the other 20+ artworks were women. So, yeah. Pretty lousy. Maybe this new hire will straighten it up.

robertdknight

I hope she sweeps that place into shape. One of the last times I went to the library I about cried and had to complain. I checked the entire library, multiple floors, and there wasn't a representation of a white male on any book cover anywhere except for one book up front about gay people. There were well over 100 books on display on end caps and all of them were women, no matter what section of the library. I checked every single place, non-fiction, adult fiction, teen fiction, and aside from the gay couple and a cartoon of George Washington, there was no book on display in the entire library with a heroic male lead that a reader could see and feel invited to persuse the book's pages. Really a sad commentary on the state of affairs in society today.

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