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.”