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Fulton native takes over helm at Ogdensburg Public Library

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Penny J. Kerfien, the new director of the Ogdensburg Public Library, is one of those fortunate people who has a job doing what she loves the most.

In her case it’s spending time with books.

“My mom could never figure out where all of the batteries in the house were going to, until she caught me one night and I was reading under the covers with a flashlight,” Ms. Kerfien recalled from her childhood. “She started taking me to the library when I was four or five in Fulton, and I devoured the books there.”

Ms. Kerfien said she still keeps her childhood library card in her office as a constant reminder of how and where her lifelong passion for the written work began.

“My library card from Fulton is right over there,” she pointed. “I still have it.”

Ms. Kerfien was appointed to her current position as library director in Ogdensburg on July 14. She is the former director and children’s librarian of Fulton Public Library and most recently worked at Oswego S.D. Public Library. She received her Master’s of Library Science degree from Syracuse University in 2003.

No stranger to the north country cold, Ms. Kerfien said she is looking forward to her first winter in Ogdensburg, and said growing up in Fulton, and then living in Oswego, has given her a lifetime of practical experience when it comes to dealing with some of the harshest conditions Mother Nature has to offer. She said last winter in Oswego was relentless.

“We got hammered. Just when you thought you could let the shovel relax for day you looked out and it was snowing again,” she said. “Between us and Tug Hill we did pretty good.”

Ms. Kerfien said camping, hiking, cross country skiing, and outdoor photographer are some of her interests in addition to reading.

“I enjoy being outdoors so it doesn’t matter what season it is. I’m outdoors if at all possible,” she said.

As a new library director, and as someone new to the city of Ogdensburg, Ms. Kerfien said one of her top priorities will be getting to know people in the community. She said she has already found the area’s residents to be warm, friendly and inviting.

“So far it’s been very welcoming,” Ms. Kerfien said. “I meet people on the street and I’ve met quite a few of our patrons, and they stand and talk to me for a while, so it’s going very well.”

The Ogdensburg Public Library, 312 Washington St. is located across from the Frederic Remington Art Museum. The facility is open Monday through Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.

For a list of seasonal hours, resources and events taking place please check out the library’s website at http://www.ogdensburgpubliclibrary.org/sitemap

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