I'm featuring a young lady who was born and raised in our fair county, graduated from Crawfordsville High School and has a library-connection to me. I love and admire this gal and thus I would like to share Karen Record's life in this week's Around the County.

In high school, Karen was in choir and some musicals. She spent a lot of time involved with the First Baptist Church New Life Singers. Being in that group gave her the strong faith she has today, her most valuable possession.

Work-wise, she began at Long John Silvers, babysat and worked at Whitey's Restaurant, but her true working love began when she became a page at the Crawfordsville District Public Library in 1979. She was my awesome page a few years later when I became the Childrens' Librarian. I could trust Karen to do just about anything, including my story hours, planning for summer reading or even dusting. Although for a couple of years, she just subbed at CDPL, or worked in the summer, overall, Karen has worked at the library continuously since that time. That's 34 years, and she still loves it!

At Taylor University, Karen also worked in their library all four years and enjoyed being in the handbell choir. After graduation, she began teaching for the South Montgomery School Corporation in Walnut Township. Kindergarten, first and third grades were her expertise. When I asked her which was her favorite, she told me that each had its separate character. After teaching Kindergarten all day, she would be extremely exhausted but it was an exciting time. With the first grade, she was very tired but it was so worthwhile when the students would get something and their eyes would light up! Now, with the third grade, she wasn't so tired because she could let them work for a few minutes alone. Overall, each group had pros and cons and she enjoyed each one.

Her reign as the head of the Childrens' Department began in April of 2007. Karen is amazing with patrons. I took my Turkey Run Childrens' Literature class there once and Karen did one amazing story time. Quick to tell me that the department couldn't run without her great assistants, Janella Nunan and Linda Brady, Karen said they bounce off ideas, find them on the internet, read magazines and books and all of it is fun. "Being with the kids," is what Karen likes best. There are all types of programs for all ages. Grandparents Day is one of Karen's favorites, but Donuts with Dad, Muffins with Mom are exciting too.

Karen and husband Phil are members of the Whitesville Christian Church. Phil does various tasks for the congregation and Karen is learning to run the sound system and does some special singing. Phil has three sons and five grandchildren and part of the couples traveling is to see their family. They love going to Branson, Mo. because the people there are so wonderful that they're like family. Karen mentioned another great place to visit, Gatlinburg, Tenn, because of its mountainous beauty. Probably though, her ultimate place is a beach.

I asked Karen if they had pets and she said they have two very special cats, Jefferson and Little Black who have Karen and Phil trained well! One showed-up and one came from the animal shelter and Karen knows it's not practical but said if she could, she'd just take in any animal that needed cared for. Not practical, but, "I would if I could."

Now, this job is what I love to do because Karen and I so enjoyed our visit and without this column, we'd probably not have sSat down and reminisced the old times. Thanks Karen for being my subject for this week's Around the County!