Tonya Baldwin became the Hazel Cross Library Manager in the spring of 2010; she received her certification as a Public Librarian from the Oklahoma Library Association in 2011. Baldwin is a member of the American Library Association, Public Library Association and also the Oklahoma Library Association where she has been active in the Public Library Division since 2011 and will hold the position of chair person for that committee in 2017.
Baldwin grew up and has lived in Thomas most of her life; she has worked at many other jobs, but has found her calling at the library. She says, “I can’t remember a time in my life when books were not in it, I was blessed to be in a family who were voracious readers when I was growing up”. Baldwin has passed that passion down to her three children; “One of the greatest rewards of this job is nurturing the love of reading in children. I love to hear them tell me about the worlds that they were transported to after they have finished a book. Having a library is vital for our small community, we have something to offer all age groups and I am very proud of the service and programs that we do here at Hazel Cross Library”.
Baldwin is very active in her community on various committees and is very fortunate to be able to work with Thomas-Fay-Custer schools on many levels, so that together they promote the importance of reading to children at a young age and also keep them reading through their teen and adult years. There is a quote by best-selling author James Patterson which hangs on a poster behind her desk which says; “There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading and kids who are reading the wrong books.” Baldwin tells parents this when they tell her their kid just doesn’t like reading, she readily accepts the challenge of finding that perfect book to put in that child’s hand, sometimes it takes a few books before the child is hooked, but the reward is great when you see that spark in their eyes and know that they have crossed over to the to the world of reading.