SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Branch Hires New Branch Manager

Libraries are magical buildings, filled with books, magazines, access-free computer terminals, cozy study carrels, and more. But, the most magical part of a Library building – or at least the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey’s 10 Library buildings – are the staff that help make the experience whole.

The Mary Jacobs branch recently welcomed a new member to the staff. Lesley Koble, new branch manager, joins the Library System with over 15 years of experience, a passion for imparting literacy skills, and a love for young adult fiction and a good, scary ghost story. 

“I think I became a Librarian because of my mother,” said Koble. “She was an immigrant and she was very intelligent, very literate, especially for somebody who never went to college or graduated high school. I mean, she was just this amazing role model to me.”

Continued Koble, “She took us to the library every week, and it became this occasion, this event to look forward to. My mother encouraged us to read, instilling in us all these literary skills, even though she didn’t even know she was doing it. And, because of her, I love helping to empower other parents as they teach their children early literacy skills and to help them transition into their young adult years.”

Koble, who has worked in a variety of positions throughout her tenure in the Library world, is eager to bring her myriad experiences and determined spirit to SCLSNJ.

“I could not be more pleased to have Lesley Koble join the management team at the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey,” said Christopher Korenowsky, director of public services. “Lesley’s passion, commitment, and interest in community engagement will benefit library customers all across the county. As public libraries continue to reinvent our services during the public health situation, I am happy to welcome a new dynamic, profession-leading voice to our community.”

“We are very excited to have Lesley Koble join us,” said Karen Pifher, manager of branch services, young minds and family resources. “She brings a wealth of experience in library service and a strong customer service focus to SCLSNJ.”

Koble, a graduate of Edinboro and Clarion Universities, both of Pennsylvania, studied speech pathology as well as library science. 

“I have always been passionate about helping immigrant populations, probably because of my mother’s influence,” said Koble. “In the library, you can find everything you need to learn to become a successful citizen – for free. Whether it’s developing young literacy skills, toddler literacy, adult literacy, any of it. I love being in an environment that helps people become better citizens while also helping them to reach their goals in everyday, daily life. So, in a nutshell, that’s why I love working in a library and why I am so passionate about joining the Somerset County community.”

In her free time, Koble enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, and, of course, reading. She is currently enjoying reading young adult author, Laini Taylor – both her Dreamdark series as well as her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Koble also highly recommends any book by author Mary Downing Hahn.

“A favorite author, who I read every October, is Mary Downing Hahn,” said Koble. “The author is a retired school librarian author who writes the best ghost stories for children. I have read most of her books and my favorite is ‘The Girl in the Locked Room.’ I love a true ghost story.”

To connect with Koble, email lkoble@sclibnj.org or call (908) 458.8431.