By Brooke Moeder
Special to Independent Newsmedia
A variety of brightly colored books line the shelves of the library as Jennifer Crowell, the library director at Luke Air Force Base, stocks the shelves.
Arriving Feb. 4, Ms. Crowell is one of Luke’s newest Thunderbolts. Previously, she spent five years as a librarian in Peoria, Ariz.
In the last 14 years, Ms. Crowell has traveled across northwestern Arizona, gaining experience in the career that she loves.
“Making connections,” said Ms. Crowell, a mother of three, two sons and a daughter. “Making connections with families and making connections with Airmen — that’s what I love about being a librarian.”
Ms. Crowell spent a portion of her youth in Las Vegas while her dad was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. When he finished his enlistment there, they moved to northern Arizona and stayed until she graduated from high school. She then enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for four years as a postal clerk.
Being a librarian and back on a base gives her the opportunity to not only read local tales, but allows her to be back near military members and hear about their experiences.
“I love stories in every form,” said Ms. Crowell. “Fiction, non-fiction, young adult, children’s books, and biographies. Everyone has a story to tell.”
The base services a total population of more than 100,000 people annually including military members, family members and retirees. With that amount of people, there are many tales to hear at Luke.
“I was thinking about how many people are here and how we don’t really know what they’ve done,” said Ms. Crowell. “You could be standing in the midst of a war hero and you don’t even know.”
According to Ms. Crowell, one of her favorite things about her job is making connections with people that may be new to the base, because she’s been in those shoes. She wants to make people feel welcome in the library.
“I have two sons (soldiers) deployed overseas and I want to welcome our Airmen the way I want people to welcome my own kids,” said Ms. Crowell.
Kathryn Puckett, 56th Force Support Squadron senior library technician, hosts Babytime every Tuesday and Storytime every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
“I like working with the public and the patrons,” Ms. Puckett said. “I want to make Airmen feel as though it’s a place where they can relax rather then a place of work.”
There are a lot of different things that the library has to offer. It has over 30,000 materials that are readily available to Airmen and their families. There are numerous amounts of books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, etc.
“We have a summer reading program coming up,” said Ms. Crowell. “A lot of people think it’s just for kids, but it’s not. It’s for everybody.”