After two years with the Gig Harbor branch of the Pierce County Library, branch manager Joy Kim is moving on.
Kim is moving to a district-wide position while Sumner branch manager Ben Haines temporarily takes over for the summer. The library is interviewing potential new managers.
“He’s got branch manager experience to keep the ship sailing,” Kim said of Haines.
Kim’s new title is customer experience manager; she’ll oversee several branches. Her area of focus is outreach and community engagement, which means working with Friends of the Library groups among other duties.
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She called her time at the Gig Harbor a “dream branch manager job” thanks to an involved community. Her successor is in for a great job, she said.
“I think it’s a really excellent opportunity for someone to come into,” she said.
She may come back to Gig Harbor occasionally, but she’s not going to hang around too often.
“I will try not to haunt the branch,” she joked.
Kim believes that with a solid staff at the branch, the transition won’t be noticeable to patrons.
“The library’s in good hands,” she said. “We’re really committed to hiring well.”
Kim has been with the system for five years, starting her career as a youth services librarian at the Parkland/Spanaway branch, then moving to Summit for a manager position and finally landing at Gig Harbor in September 2013.
Moving around branches gave Kim a wealth of knowledge about Pierce County as a whole.
“It gives you a lot of different perspectives,” she said. “A lot of things are unique to each community.”
From her time at Gig Harbor, Kim will always remember the excitement and the influence of the library’s 3-D printing classes, which have wait lists even a year after beginning.
“I think it shows the kind of thing that can happen when you get community support,” she said. In addition, she said, watching her staff get creative has been fun to watch.
The branch has another 3-D printing class coming up soon. Two introduction classes begin on July 1 and Aug. 11. No registration is required. The Afina printers are near the return bins in the branch and patrons can watch as projects are made.
Kim will start her new job on July 1, after she returns from the American Library Association conference. Her last day at Gig Harbor is Wednesday (June 24).