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Library names new youth librarian

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Farabee takes over Bogard’s old position, vacant since June

By Todd Martin

More than two months after parting ways with former children’s librarian Sherry Bogard, the Shelby County Public Library has finally filled the position.

Sarahbeth Farabee, who spent 18 years as the Family Resource and Youth Services Center coordinator for preschool at Shelby County Public Schools, will take over the position of youth services librarian. Reached at the library on Tuesday, Farabee declined to be interviewed, but an announcement distributed by the library said she already has been on the job, hosting story hour sessions.

Library Director Pam Federspiel said in the release that she is excited to have Farabee on board. “She has a wealth of experience with children of all ages, including teens at the area high schools,” Federspiel said.

Farabee succeeds a popular figure in Bogard, who left the library in June under a whirl of controversy that has led to her suing the library and Federspiel. After being named the top children’s librarian in the state in 2011, Bogard claims she was wrongly fired by the library. The library board claims that Bogard walked off the job.

In the suit, Bogard claims that she was instructed to perform duties beyond her role, was denied the opportunity to hire a disabled student because of the disability and was physically assaulted at the meeting when she was terminated. The library board and Federspiel have denied through their attorney all the claims made by Bogard.

Farabee is a lifelong resident of Shelbyville, and along with her work as the preschool coordinator, she has been a preschool teacher at Child Town and the Dorman Center and has worked with a local foster care/adoption program.

Farabee is no stranger to the library, noting in the release that she remembered as a child riding her bike to the corner of 8th and College streets and enduring the strict rules of then-librarian Katharine Nicholas.

“I was a little intimidated by Miss Katharine,” she said in the release. “You can be sure I am not Miss Katherine.”

Her favorite books of the time, she said, included Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins. “I loved reading,” she said. “Literacy is the key to everything,” she said in the release. “If someone can read, they can learn to do anything. Plus, it can even allow you to travel around the world through books.”

Farabee and Federspiel also announced the plans to start a monthly family event at the library beginning in October. The meeting will include literacy along with entertainment.