Greenburgh Public Library has had many staff changes over the last few months. Most of the additions were to replace staff that had retired. This is not the case with our latest staff member addition, Jennifer Rainbeau. Jen has been working here at GPL as a substitute librarian for the past year helping out in the Children’s Room. Because Children’s programs have become so popular and the room is always in use, we were able to hire Jen as a full-time Youth Services Librarian to continue to meet the needs of the community. Let's get to know Jennifer Rainbeau:
Many of our patrons may already know Jen. She grew up here in Greenburgh and went to Greenburgh Schools until 4th grade. She then completed her middle school and high school years at Sacred Heart. “When I was a kid I wanted to be a famous actor but then I had to become practical. I always found I was drawn to working with children. I did lots of babysitting and camp counseling and then got a job as the assistant director of Greenbugh Teen Travel a teen day camp here in Greenburgh. After realizing my strengths in this area my plans moved toward teaching.” Jen attended Pace University for undergrad and majored in elementary education. At Pace, as part of her work study, she worked as a library student aid at the Mortola Library on campus. “I surprisingly loved it. I was unsure at first but after settling in I realized I didn’t just love working with children I loved helping people. Working at the campus library was logical and structured. It was teaching and helping and serving. I knew then that whatever field I chose it was going to be teaching, helping and serving the public.” When her undergrad years were completed she continued on to Pace graduate school for a teaching degree. “After graduation I started working as a full- time computer teacher in Highland Falls NY. This was a deviation of what I had originally wanted to do which was classroom work. Staying within that district I was finally offered a 6th grade classroom position. Because my preference was for elementary education I was still not where I wanted to be but I ended up loving the kids and what I was doing so I stayed.”
After 10 years of teaching in Highland Jen took a break to raise a family and then began looking for a career change but still in the vein of teaching, helping and serving. “I remembered my old job as a library student aid at Pace and how much I enjoyed it and thought let me pursue this avenue. So I went back to school for Library Media Specialist at LIU and just assumed I would get a job in a school district. But then I started working part time at John C. Hart in Shrub Oak as a Librarian Assistant and found I really liked working on the public side of librarianship. I eventually began working in the children’s room and it was the perfect storm. When the full-time position opened up at Greenburgh it became the right fit at the right time.”
Jen is looking forward to broadening her experiences working with the Greenburgh community. “I would like to introduce more maker space and STEAM programming to the children’s offerings. I have been asked to take on developing story time kits, groupings of learning toys and books that are themed to a child’s growing needs, and providing other unique collections to make for a more robust selection. I’d also like to do more book groups and book clubs as I get more comfortable in my new position.”
Jen is a great fit for the GPL Children’s Room. In the past she loved helping with Battle of the Books and hopes to do more with that program. She also loves tween and juvenile fiction. “Realistic fiction such as Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper and Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar are my favorites.” Her last name being Rainbeau is really fun too.
When asked what she is currently reading Jen ticked off a wonderful list of books about mindfulness, meditation, personal growth and the spiritual path. “Focusing in on mind, body and soul and improving your self-awareness only makes you that much more in tune with those around you especially when teaching, helping and serving others.”
Jen’s Mindful Picks:
Proof of Heaven a Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife; Alexander, Eben
The seven spiritual laws of success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams; Chopra, Deepak
The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way; Dyer, Wayne W.
Reposition Yourself: Living Life Without Limits; Jakes, T. D.
Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, To Near Death, To True Healing; Moorjani, Anita
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment; Tolle, Eckhart,
A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose; Tolle, Eckhart
Seat of the Soul; Gary Zukav