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Megan Markiewicz is the Red Wing Public Library's new children's librarian. She said she is excited to keep kids reading. (Republican Eagle photo by Danielle Killey)1 / 2
Kids can enjoy the recently redone children's section at the Red Wing Public Library this summer. Reading programs start next week and include prizes such a passes to the Colvill pool. The summer reading program for kids this year is "Dig Into Reading." (Republican Eagle photo by Danielle Killey)2 / 2

Megan Markiewicz is digging into her new job as the Red Wing children's librarian.

The children and teen summer reading program, "Dig Into Reading," will kick off just two weeks after her first day.

"It was kind of intimidating at first," Markiewicz said, but other library staff had started work on the programs and they are ready to go.

Markiewicz said she is excited for the work ahead here this summer and beyond.

"I'm looking forward to working with kids again," she said. Her last position was at the West Allis (Wis.) library.

Markiewicz attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities before working as an elementary school librarian in Arizona. She then went to school in Milwaukee to get her master's degree, and then worked in a private school library before her most recent position.

Markiewicz lives in St. Paul. She said while she enjoys making her home in an urban setting, she prefers working at libraries in smaller towns.

"There's more active community involvement," she said. "It's often tighter-knit communities."

She said working in a smaller town also allows her to get to know the kids and families coming to the library.

Markiewicz had been to Red Wing before and said it is a "beautiful community."

She said she plans to build on the library programs in place and expand offerings for teens.

Markiewicz said teens are often busy with school, sports and activities, so options such as homework help or other opportunities at the library can keep them coming back.

"Kids often get dropped at age 12 or sixth grade," she said. "It's really important to build lifelong library users."

When Markiewicz was working on an undergraduate thesis for her anthropology major on fairytales, "I spent a lot of time working in children's libraries." That's when she decided she might want to do that full time.

She enjoyed literature and worked in libraries when she was in high school and college, she said, but "it didn't really occur to me until then that I could become a librarian."

Markiewicz said a lot of libraries are facing budget cuts and leaving positions open when people retire or leave.

"Getting a job doing what I want to do in a library is really exciting to me," she said of the Red Wing position. "I'm very happy to be here."

"It's nice to find somewhere where I feel like I can stay," she added.

The city also recently announced that new library Director Jessica McGee will start July 8.

McGee comes from the Granville County Library System in North Carolina where she was the adult services librarian. She also previously worked in the U.K., Belgium and other North Carolina libraries.

She earned her master's degree in library and information services from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Summer reading

The summer reading program for families, daycares, kids and teens kicks off June 11 and includes games, activities and prizes. All programs are free. For more information, visit the library website at or call 651-385-3673.

Colvill pool passes

Children entering grade 6 or under can earn Colvill pool passes by reading or being read to 20 minutes a day. For every seven days -- and form returned, filled out, to the library -- passes can be earned.

Teens can earn the passes through a drawing. They can pick up forms to rate books they have read and drop them off at the library. Every Friday library staff will draw two winners for pool passes.

The pool pass programs end July 31.

Story times

Incoming second- through sixth-grade students

Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

• June 11: Creation Stations

• June 18: Carpenter Nature Center visit

• June 25: Unearthing Fun

• July 2: No programs this week

• July 9: Environmental Learning Center

• July 16: Dig into the Past

• July 23: Spy party

Family story time

Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.

• June 12: Animal Adventures

• June 19: In and out of Trouble

• June 26: Big Builds

• July 3: No programs this week

• July 10: Hot Diggity Dog

• July 17: How Does Your Garden Grow?

• July 24: Going on a Bear Hunt

The same program is repeated Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. for daycare story time.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

(651) 459-4629