Whatley reads to children at Wolfforth library

Sharon WhatleySharon Whatley loves books, loves her community and loves children.

Two years ago she found a way to combine all three.

Whatley, who managed a book store in Amarillo for 17 years, moved to Wolfforth with her husband and began volunteering at the Wolfforth City Library. Monday and Tuesday mornings she can be found at the library reading to pre-school children.

How long have you been volunteering here?

“We’ve lived here for two years, and I’ve been working at the library for that long.”

Where did you move from?

“We moved from New Mexico, but prior to that we lived in Amarillo for many years. We lived there for 35 years. We moved here because it’s a little bit warmer.”

What drew you to Wolfforth?

Sharon Whatley

Former occupation: manager, Waldenbooks
Hobbies: volunteering with CASA of Lubbock and The Ronald McDonald House
Family: husband, Richard and two sons, Michael and Christopher

“The fact there were new houses to buy and that it is a small community. We know our neighbors, and we know the people who run our city.  We’re very pleased with it. We have the convenience of Lubbock but the comfort of living in Wolfforth.”

How did you get started at the library?

“I managed a book store for 17 years. This is my passion— books, music and children. I’m retired now.”

Do you have a favorite book you like to read to children?

“No favorites. Most of them I enjoy reading to them. I like to read them books that they can respond to so that you’re not just reading to them, they’re interacting with you. Last week we did bugs and spiders and they responded very well to those.”

What are some of your earliest memories of reading as a child?

“I read every summer. Where I lived there were no other children around and I would ride my bicycle to our local library and get books. I remember reading books like ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘Little Women.’ They’re classics now. They might not have been when I was reading them. That was how I spent my summer was with books. Books are still a large part of my life.”

What’s your favorite part about volunteering here?

“The atmosphere. This is a small community, and we seem to know each other. You walk in the door and there is a smile and a greeting and it’s very different from a large library. Having moved here from Amarillo, it’s a real difference. We moved with the intent of moving to a small town.”

Do you have any specific special memories from working at the library so far?

“You know, we really started using our library other than our own use tutoring with the Lubbock Literacy program. They have a room here that’s a small room that you can go in and close the door which is excellent for working with students, particularly adult students who are learning to read. They have privacy that way.”

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