Saturday, March 25, 2023

Natalie Stringer Fosters a Love of Learning in Coronado’s Youngest Readers

Coronado Children’s Librarian Natalie Stringer. By Megan Kitt / The Coronado Times

She walked through the doors of the Coronado Public Library as a child to find solace and excitement in books. Years later, crossed the doors as a graduate student to study. Today, Natalie Stringer walks through those same doors once again to start her workday.

Stringer, the Children’s Services Librarian, is committed to fostering literacy and a love of reading in the community’s children through a robust schedule of programming.

“Without literacy or a passion for reading, it’s really hard to grow as a student and find your niche,” she said. “It even affects how you learn math, science, and history – you need reading comprehension for everything.”

Her dedication is palpable at a recent preschool story time, one of many regular programs she heads. As kids walk in and find a seat, she greets them by name, speaks with them between stories and songs, and high fives them goodbye. As a librarian, her goal is to be entrenched in the community she serves.

“I’m happy to see them recognize me as their librarian,” she said. “It’s what I’m working toward. I want them to see the library as a resource throughout their lives.”

The Coronado Library offers robust programs for all ages, from babies to adults. In addition to story times, kids can participate in art, science, and history-based activities that blend play with learning.

“The goal is to foster a love of learning,” Stringer said. “Through a book, you can find new places, escape to new worlds, understand new people and cultures you wouldn’t have otherwise. Any direction you want to go, you can take through reading.”

Story time at the Coronado Library. Photo: Megan Kitt / The Coronado Times

Stringer has a master’s degree in library information science and a bachelor’s degree in education. She worked as an elementary school teacher before deciding to become a librarian.

“I’ve always known I wanted to work with kids,” she said. “After teaching, I eventually discovered I wanted to pursue librarianship.”

She loves creating fun and engaging activities for her kids, and that she can develop her own programming to get kids excited about reading. That, she said, sets kids up for success for the rest of their lives, no matter what path they pursue.

“I tie some early literacy aspects into my story times, especially at the preschool level,” Stringer said. “With early education, it really should be play-based. Preschoolers are learning to be social and have fun, and they thrive on routines. I keep things consistent to make sure they know what to expect from story time while introducing new things – they get that consistency while still growing and having fun.”

The library offers toddler and preschool story times on Tuesdays and Fridays led by Stringer, STEAM-based Tinker Tuesdays with library associate Jennifer Herring, and countless other learning-based activities for kids.

As they grow, Tara Davies, teen librarian, takes the reins, and the library offers a wide range of activities and classes for adults as well. See their full event calendar here.

“The library, in my eyes, is the center of the community,” Stringer said. “We provide a safe place where anyone can come. It doesn’t matter your age, your status, how much money you have, what you look like, who you are – the library is for you.”

Coronado Public Library
640 Orange Ave, Coronado


Megan Kitt
Megan Kitt
Megan's work as a journalist has taken her around the world, from across the United States to Tokyo and Kampala, but her passion lies in community reporting. She believes a quality news publication strengthens a community by informing and connecting its members. She holds BA degrees in journalism, English literature and creative writing; an MA degree in creative writing; and her photography has been published internationally. While on a reporting assignment in Uganda, she founded Tuli, a fair trade fashion brand that earned her industry acclaim, most notably by earning her the title Designer to Watch at New York Fashion Week in 2022. Megan's diverse experience in travel and career taught her to approach reporting eager to understand the many experiences and perspectives that make life so interesting. When she's not working, you can find Megan wrangling her two toddlers, hiking with her husband, and binging podcasts.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]