Patron Spotlight: Kaylan Guinn & Sarah Mapes

In OPL's mission and vision, library staff embrace the role of the library as a connector – with ideas, information, innovation, and people. Whether providing patrons with resources and reading or creating opportunities to develop valuable relationships, being a (big or small) part of your story is why OPL is here for its community.

Many parents know that library storytimes offer a variety of benefits. Storytime is a valuable activity for helping children to develop early literacy skills. Participating children learn new sounds, words and language; they exercise their imaginations; and they meet and interact with other children around joint activities. However, one of the most unsung benefits of storytimes may not be directly about the kids, but rather, for their parents.

Kaylan Guinn and Sarah Mapes both became first-time moms during the height of COVID. As soon as OPL began offering in-person programming at branches, Guinn and Mapes started attending baby storytime at Millard Branch and then Saddlebrook Branch with their children. Guinn recognized Mapes and her son from a previous storytime visit and said hello. As they continued to see each other at storytimes, they found that they had a lot in common and enjoyed talking about everything from the TV shows they watch to their mutual love of dogs. Though their activities often revolve around library offerings, they often spend time together at the conclusion of storytimes to catch up and let their boys play. “It’s hard to make friends as an adult,” said Guinn. “It’s easier when you find someonewho is in the same stage of life.”

Mapes agreed. “It’s nice knowing that we can understand and help each other through the next steps in life.” Guinn and Mapes look forward to continuing their friendship as their boys get older.