Meet: AMANDA LIEBL, the BRPL's Youth Program Director!
Q: Tell us about your history working on behalf of the Boca Raton Public Library. A: I started working for the library in 2014, after working for the City of Boca Raton’s Recreation Services Department since 2004, where in 2006 I started running the City’s summer camps for kids. I supervised 99 staff members and 7000 camp enrollees. As a City employee in recreation services, I knew Ann Nappa, the library manager, who called me about running the library’s Youth Services Department, where I supervise 15 people. I love kids, and was thrilled to accept the position. It’s a totally different vibe with the kids who come to the library than from the kids who enroll in summer camps. There is much less anxiety, as the library programs are free, and everyone is just passionate about reading and learning. Q: What projects are you currently working on? A: For this year’s library theme, Cultural Connections, we have been putting on programs in other languages and featuring the various arts and cuisines of other cultures, such as Japanese gardens and Korean cooking classes. We’ve had drop-in story time for children in Spanish, Chinese, Thai, Russian and other languages which have attracted 70-100 kids in one class. Our message is that we are here for everyone in our community. One of my other favorite projects is the American Girl doll lending program. We are the only library in Florida currently running this program. We took a blueprint from a library in Virginia, and the librarians there helped us start the project. We lend out the dolls, and wash and clean them when they are returned, ready for the next check out. American Girl dolls are expensive to buy, so we feel this is a great program for all children to experience playing with an American Girl doll, which all come with a carrying case that includes clothing and accessories, a story book about the doll, and a journal for each child to record his or her experience interacting with the doll. We currently have 17 dolls, three of which are African American. One doll is Native American, one is Hispanic, one is Jewish and there is even one boy doll! They have been very popular check-outs. Q: What is something people might not know about you? A: I sing professionally at events such as weddings, funerals, and Catholic masses, with a partner who is an instrumentalist. We get lots of business by word of mouth. I started singing as a Cantor at church at the age of 14. As a teenager and college student, singing paid my bills!
It’s hard at times juggling a busy schedule and raising two boys (ages 8 and 5), but I love what I do!