“I wanted to find a way to bring my love of birds to the library but wasn’t sure how interested our customers would be in my hobby,” Yarn said. “But we had our highest attendance for teens and adults at our first bird program. It’s been cool to have other people interested in and connect with what I’m interested in. And it’s really rewarding when our customers get a chance to see and interact with birds, and then ask questions. For me, that’s really powerful.”
The power of learning and its impact on communities has drawn Yarn to two careers, first as an Oklahoma City teacher, and now as a librarian. But the wonder of birds has called to Yarn since childhood in Virginia Beach, VA.
“I have to credit my 6th grade science teacher, Ms. K, for my interest in birds,” Yarn said. “I wasn’t that into it before a life sciences unit on birds. Whatever it was that she did for that unit – I got into it. We built bird houses and hung bird feeders, and my mom even got me a little bird book.
“Isn’t it amazing how our teachers can have such a profound impact on their students, even so many years later?”
Yarn soon became obsessed with the osprey that nested on a platform above their elementary school’s baseball field, and never looked back. Their birding experiences continued to grow while attending Cornell University, in New York, and has seeped into their library work in Oklahoma.
“I don’t have a life list, I’m more of a casual birder. But I still get really excited when I see new birds or identify birds by ear. I identified a Carolina wren just by its song the other day – it was a wild moment. And when I saw a golden-crowned kinglet – I had a fit.”
Yarn hopes to bring that same kind of wild joy to the library's customers.
As a librarian stationed in information services – better known as the reference desk – Yarn and their colleagues answer a variety of questions and point customers to a wide range of books and resources.
“No matter the question, our answer is typically ‘yes, we can help with that.’”
Yarn starts every exchange with a reference interview to get to the heart of the question, including questions about birds.