When you walk into the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library, you may be greeted by two new friendly faces. Elaine Bleisch and Ethan Nelson are the newest librarians who have been added to the team.
Bleisch took over the teen librarian/children’s assistant position from Mackenzie Watson, whose last day was Nov. 13. Bleisch, who acted as children’s librarian for the Alliance Public Library previously, spent her first couple weeks at the Scottsbluff library learning the ropes from Watson.
“Since I’m the new teen librarian and children’s assistant, Mackenzie Watson was still here the last couple of weeks, so she was kind of training me on what she does,” she said. “Then, I’ve been working with Deb to get stuff recorded for Storytime and Lego Club. And so it’s been a lot of information in the last two weeks.”
Nelson, who recently graduated college with a degree in philosophy, filled the library assistant position at the circulation desk. His main job has been shelving books, customer service and assisting patrons with any needs they may have. He took the job after working on the family farm near Dalton for a while.
“I was working on my family’s farm and my mom has been sick. She’s had a brain tumor. So I’ve been helping her for about a year,” he said. “And so now that she’s feeling better, I saw the job opening here, and I have had some library experience in the past. So, that’s why I applied.”
The new job has not been without its challenges though, especially when trying to learn the role amid a pandemic. Bleisch said it’s been hard to get to know people when they can’t meet in person.
“I’m really looking forward to when the COVID restrictions are lifted, and we can do things in person,” she said. “That’s been the hardest thing for me starting new is that I haven’t been able to meet really anybody, haven’t been able to jump in and do the activities with the children.”
Nevertheless, both Bleisch and Nelson, who began on the same day two weeks ago, said they fit right in with the team of librarians, and the entire staff has been great to work with.
“The environment and the atmosphere is just really welcoming,” Nelson said. “I’m just amazed by how kind and welcoming and supportive all the staff here are. Especially coming in new here and with all the new COVID rules, but everybody’s been so nice and really great.”
Bleisch said, “They’ve been great to work with, and so I feel at home here right away.”