The latest hires at Mercer County Public Library —Chantelle Bottom, David Kirkpatrick and Tracy Mundy—invite you to find out all that MCPL has to offer this summer.
“I always wanted to be a librarian,” said Chantelle Bottom.
Bottom is the inter library and loan librarian and circulation assistant at MCPL. Her title is a mouthful but what it basically means is that if you request material not available at MCPL, she arranges to borrow it from another library.
“If we don’t have a book here and it’s too old to purchase, we try to get it from another library,” she said.
Bottom is originally from Mercer County. Her family moved away when she was in the 5th grade. A 2017 graduate of Berea College, Bottom worked at Hutchins Library in the reference and technical services department while earning her bachelor’s degree in Asian studies. She is currently studying to earn a master’s degree in library science from the University of Tennessee.
Working at MCPL is both her first job and a chance to return home.
“The patrons are very understanding,” she said. “There was a lot to learn and they took their time with me.”
One of Bottom’s first projects at MCPL was creating a mockup of a bald eagle habitat with Circulation Desk Coordinator Natalie Watts. She twisted large sheets of paper like twigs to create an eagle’s nest—also known as an aerie—as part of an audiovisual presentation.
“I like to draw and paint. I like to do origami and things with my hands,” she said. “It’s a hobby.”
David Kirkpatrick is the genealogy and reference librarian. Kirkpatrick is originally from Washington, but he calls Harrodsburg, “kind of my hometown.”
He worked part-time at MCPL while attending the University of Louisville, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history. He subsequently earned a master’s degree in history at Western Kentucky University.
“I always had a fondness for this area,” Kirkpatrick said. “I love the history behind it.”
He said he has always been drawn to history.
“History defines what we are today,” Kirkpatrick said. “The more you understand history, the better you understand yourself and your community.”
For the last 10 years, Kirkpatrick worked for the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives in Frankfort. Then he learned there was a possible opening at the MCPL.
“The opportunity to go home had a great appeal,” he said.
Kirkpatrick has high hopes for MCPL’s genealogy department. He said he aims to expand the collection as well as the community’s interest in genealogy and history. Many people, not just here in Mercer County but across the United States, don’t know much about their background, and Kirkpatrick would like to help them better understand their pasts.
“Some people don’t know how to get started,” he said. “A lot of the time they don’t realize how much information we have locally.”
Tracy Mundy is the adult and teen programmer at MCPL. “I do all the events and things,” Mundy said.
She works with Children’s Librarian Lolita Short on family events.
Mundy is originally from Boyle County. She and her husband have lived by Herrington Lake for the last four and half years, she said.
Before joining MCPL, Mundy worked for the Boyle County Public Library and, before that, the Madison County Public Library.
“I love libraries,” she said.
But it wasn’t always her goal to work in one. Mundy, a first generation college student, earned a degree from Eastern Kentucky University in public relations and intended to work in the music business after a chance encounter with Garth Brooks. That’s right. The Garth Brooks.
“He convinced my mom into cosigning my student loans,” Mundy said.
After graduation, she spent a lot of time in Nashville, learning about life on Music Row. But she ended up somewhat disillusioned.
“I learned it’s not the kind of fairy tale land everybody thinks it is,” Mundy said. “So I changed my focus.”
Mundy is currently working on a counselling degree in preparation for going into ministry.
“I love doing something for the community and bringing the community’ together and everybody’s happy about it,” she said.
Mundy is in charge of MCPL’s summer reading programming. Every month this summer, the third Monday will be “Music Monday.”
Mundy is also behind the “Lunch Bunch,” the adult book club. “They bring their sack lunch and we serve dessert,” she said.
On Thursday, there is the Savvy Shopper’s Club. “We talk about couponing and using different store apps,” she said. “Basic money saving things.”
On Saturday, June 2, the summer reading will kick off with the “Libraries Rock” program, which starts at 10 a.m. In addition to live music, participants will be able to mine for gems and fossils. There will also be games and a bouncy house. “It’ll be a lot of fun,” Mundy said.
Other events she has planned include a 1980s movie marathon, with a different 1980s classic playing every night for the first week of June (except Wednesday) starting at 6 p.m. Mundy is also working on a 007 Escape Room and a murder mystery night in July. Call MCPL to register.
For more information about the summer reading program or other events at the library, call 734-3680 or visit online at http://www.mcplib.info.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.