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'Books and Babies': Beloved children's librarian leaves a legacy at Bozeman Public Library

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Posted at 6:21 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 20:21:47-04

BOZEMAN — Cindy Christin has served the community of Bozeman for more than 30 years and is heading into her final week at the Bozeman Public Library.

Initially hired as a part-time children’s librarian in 1988, Christin says she had no desire to leave a place she fell so in love with.

“I love the library, I have always loved working here. I have an early childhood background. I got my masters in teaching and realized that I loved being around young children,” she said.

At the time, Christin had young children, was new to Bozeman and sought out connection. So, in 1994 "Books and Babies" began, bringing parents and children together to sing, dance and connect.

“I realized how hard it is to meet people when you are home alone with kids. We started with one morning a week, and now we do five days a week," said Christin. "We invite anyone—guardian, caretaker, parent, grandparent—to come and just relax."

From nursery rhymes to classic lullabies, and even some musical theater songs, everyone sang together Thursday morning.

July 29 was Christin’s final Books and Babies class, where she and many families including the Thurman family played and socialized.

Wally Thurman and his wife have been attending Books and Babies since 2002. Initially, the Thurmans brought their three daughters and now have the pleasure of introducing their granddaughter to Christin’s world.

“She’s been such a mainstay in the public library. She’s provided a real welcoming spirit. We’ve enjoyed coming here, both with our three daughters and now with our granddaughter,” Thurman said.

During quarantine and spending more time at home, Christin realized that slowing down a bit was not a bad thing.

“I have decided this was a good time to hang on to some of that calm that we all felt while we were at home,” she said.

Christin may be retiring, but she will still be an active member of the Bozeman Public Library, this time as a guest. Checking-out books, enjoying some of the adult events, and spending time reading will fill her day.

Books and Babies will continue at the Bozeman Public Library with a new face, but the same joy.

“I’m really just enjoying every minute of this last week,” Christin said.

Christin also had the honor of being named Montana's Librarian of the Year in January.