Courtney Walters

I love being a librarian. If you’ve attended my programs at the Bettendorf Public Library, you’ve probably heard me call it “the best job ever.” There are a multitude of reasons for this, but my all-time favorite part of being a librarian is the creativity that comes with planning library programs.

I’m like a magpie when it comes to hobbies. There’s always something shiny and new that captivates my attention. It turns out this personality trait is a great asset in my work, since a lot of programming happens because the topic is of interest to the librarian doing the planning. It’s taken a bit of practice, but now when I read a magazine, watch the news, or spend some time on Pinterest, I do so with an eye for programming ideas. If it sounds interesting, it gets filed away — literally — for future reference.

I’ve always been a crafty person; you could say I’m a die-hard DIYer. Our Creation Studio series introduces patrons to activities they may wish to pursue as a hobby, so it was a perfect fit for me. Many of these program ideas have stemmed from serendipitous discussions with patrons, so I always encourage anyone with an idea to contact me, especially if they’d like to lead the program! Recently, we’ve made Leopold benches, fly fishing flies, conduit garden trellises, paper snowflakes and Adinkra cloth. On Jan. 16, we’ll learn about therapeutic-grade essential oils and make some items to take home.

While Creation Studio feeds my inner DIYer, my favorite program to plan for is the Red Carpet Re-View. “Research” involves watching a lot of really good movies and deciding what Academy Award category we should highlight each year. This February, we’ll show films that were nominated for writing. This category is all over the map in terms of subject matter and style, so I was able to choose a fantastic array of films, starting Feb. 4 with “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

I like to watch a lot of movies, but like any librarian worth her salt I’m also an avid reader. When my manager approached me with the idea of starting a book group that would meet — GASP! — outside the library, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to think outside the box as well and choose titles that most book clubs probably wouldn’t read: horror, sci-fi, young adult and edgier titles. We begin the spring 2014 selections on Jan. 8 with “Big Egos” by S.G. Brown, a sci-fi novel about the ultimate role-playing opportunity gone wrong.

For me, programming is a joy and a creative outlet. Thanks to the support of the Friends of the Bettendorf Library and the Bettendorf Library Foundation, I am able to bring many of my ideas to fruition and share my various interests with our patrons. For more information on upcoming programs, make sure you check out the library’s calendar of events at or contact the Information Desk at 563-344-4179.

Courtney Walters is an information librarian at the Bettendorf Public Library. She can be contacted at or 563-344-417.