Meet Dena, Children’s Librarian and New{ish} to Grand Blanc!

Hi everyone! I’m Dena and I’m excited to be here! I live in Grand Blanc with my husband Chris, our three-year-old daughter {we call her Sprout online — it was her nickname when I was pregnant, and it stuck!}, and a sweet old lady cat named Luna, who is definitely Sprout’s BFF… despite her grumpy looks! 


My husband is a writer: he mostly writes screenplays and also blogs about writing, teaching, and parenting. His day job is as a professor at Central Michigan University — a long commute! — but on the plus side, it’s only three days a week with summers off. He was a stay-at-home dad from the time Sprout was six months old until just before she turned two.

Sprout is now three-and-a-half, crazy smart, a ton of fun, and tells me in no uncertain terms that she’s ready to be a big sister. We’re still waiting for that to happen, hopefully soon! In the meantime, she has plenty of opportunities to play with other kids — she goes to a small, in-home daycare four days a week, and LOVES it. It’s amazing how quickly she learns new things, new words, new ways to play — she’s even learning the subtle art of sarcasm, and how to snap her fingers. I love watching her grow and can’t wait to see what’s next!

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Prior to moving to Grand Blanc, we had spent six years living in the Boston area. Half of that time was spent in the city while we were both in grad school, before we moved about an hour south, to Plymouth, MA, where I had my first job as a youth services librarian {more about that in a minute}! That’s where Sprout was born, so we still have a lot of fondness for the east coast, and lots of friends who still live out there. We try to visit when we can, and will be spending a week in Boston and Cape Cod as a family next month for the first time since we moved away!

After Sprout was born, we decided to move back to Michigan to be closer to family, most of which was still in the Detroit area. I received a job offer from the Lapeer District Library, about an hour and a half north of where we grew up — which will still better than being 16 hours away on the east coast — but also intimidating because we didn’t know ANYONE in the area. We lived in Lapeer for nine months before buying our house in Grand Blanc. We still feel relatively new to the area, even though we’ve been out here for almost three years, and are always on the lookout for new libraries, museums, and parks to explore.

I work full time as head of the children’s department for the Lapeer District Library — I oversee children’s services and collections at our main branch in Lapeer as well as our six smaller branches around Lapeer County. I spend 40 hours a week running storytimes and tons of programs for kids like touch-a-trucks and storybook character visits, making posters and graphics, helping kids find books and information for homework {and for fun}, and of course buying all those books that we keep on the shelves at our seven library branches!  

Through the library, I’m also active in our local Great Start Collaborative, volunteer with several library-related organizations in Michigan, and do a fair amount of professional development, too. {I’m actually working on this post from a conference in Traverse City!} Whew… I’m just tired typing all of that out, and honestly, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Although it keeps me busy all the time, being a children’s librarian is truly a dream come true. I LOVE my job, and my expertise in early childhood and literacy definitely makes me a better mom!

I’m so glad for the opportunity to be a part of this blogging community as well, and look forward to connecting with all of you! And if you’re ever looking for something fun to do with your kids in Lapeer, be sure to stop by the library and say hello! I’d love to meet you!

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