The Clay Center Carnegie Library welcomed its new director in early July. Brittany Girton, who was raised in Clay Center, took the job after completing her bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University, which she did through online classes. While completing her degree, Girton also served as an assistant librarian for two years at Manhattan Christian College.
Soon, she will start on her master’s degree, obtaining a Master’s of Library Sciences, also from Emporia State, which is the only such program in the state, Girton said.
Becoming a librarian was a career switch that came with COVID. Previously a hair stylist, Girton found herself unable to work. She soon joined her Grandpa, who worked as head librarian at the Manhattan College.
“I decided if I was going to have the job then I needed to have the degree,” she said. The thought process prompted her to enroll in college courses.
However, the icing on the cake is getting to work at her hometown library, Girton said. Adding that she was nervous about how long it might take for the position to open up.
“I grew up going to the library so [working here] was kind of always my end goal. I love this library,” she said. “We lived just a couple blocks away and my siblings and I would always walk here.”
As for plans moving forward, Girton said there are big plans ahead, eventually. While several programs are already in place or had started moving forward, it’s her goal to take them even further.
“We’re going to try and do more community programs.”