South Charlotte

Check out the new library manager

The Matthews Branch Library has a new manager.

Michael Lambert transferred on Aug. 25 from the Freedom Regional Library to the Matthews Library, a community library that's busier than many of its regional cousins.

Last fiscal year, Matthews had a circulation of 540,171 items, thanks to the 280,832 folks who visited the branch.

Lambert says that's an impressive number for a branch that isn't open on Sundays. And he plans to get those numbers even higher.

“I want us to be even more visible in the community and find even more ways to meet community needs. We want to use every opportunity possible to go out in the community, promote library services and sign up new users,” Lambert said.

He also wants to involve more of the community in the library by increasing the number of volunteers who work at the branch. They are currently accepting volunteer applications.

Though Lambert has a lot on his plate as manager of one of the busiest libraries in the system, he says he's really a children's librarian at heart. He's never too busy to venture into the children's area, and several times he has read to children at story time, one of the most popular programs at the branch.

Lambert loves to peruse the children's shelves to pick the most exciting books for his 4-year-old, who's lucky enough to have the branch manager read him to sleep each evening. (Halloween books are a favorite, no matter what the season.)

Lambert, 33, came to Matthews by way of Columbia, S.C., then San Mateo, Calif., and most recently the Freedom Regional Library on the other side of Charlotte.

Though he's only been on the job a few weeks, he says he's found his home in Matthews.

“I love it here. We have a wealth of resources and a staff that's passionate about helping people find a good book, getting the help they need or getting children excited about reading. And the community embraces all our services. From a library's standpoint, it doesn't get any better than this,” Lambert said.

Melinda Johnston writes about people, places, and happenings in Matthews and Mint Hill. You may contact her at mjohnston@charlotteobserver.com

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