Ann Snyder used to frequent the Wayne County Public Library with her mother and sister when she was little. She was amazed, even at a young age, how much it had to offer.

Today, the 29-year-old is back at the library as the new head of the children's department at the Goldsboro branch.

"Mom brought my sister and me here three or four times a week when I was young," Snyder said. "We were always in and out of here. And I always loved going to the library at school."

The Charles B. Aycock High School graduate obtained her master's of library science and public administration degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She loved the library so much that she worked in her college library.

She's also worked in academic libraries, in special collections, in reference and at a library consortium.

"This is the first time I've worked in a public library, and it's been an experience," Snyder said.

"We have all this knowledge and all these resources that you can just have if you ask for them. That's amazing in a world when things are increasingly expensive and hard to access. I think the whole idea of libraries is really awesome."

Snyder hopes to get Wayne County's children to feel the same way.

As head of the children's department, she orders all the children's books for the Goldsboro branch and is in charge of the day-to-day operations. She is also in charge of planning programs. She has three others on her staff.

"I do most of the storytimes," she said. "We just started a STEM storytime on Saturdays. We've had only one so far. STEM is becoming more popular in the schools. Kids are really interested in it, and parents really want their kids to be doing science and technology-related things."

The first STEM storytime was all about the "Three Little Pigs."

Snyder said the children learned how some materials are better for certain things compared to others, and they learned about the strength of different materials.

"We let them build houses out of the big LEGO blocks, popsicle sticks and straws, and they tried to blow them over," she said. "They really got into it. It was so fun."

Mrs. Snyder said there is also a LEGO club that meets once a month just for children. And there's even a local chapter of the Tarheel Junior Historians.

"I was really into history, and I volunteered at the museum downtown when I was in high school," she said. "I got into history pretty early on and always thought it was so interesting. Since students study North Carolina history in fourth and eighth grades, we thought it would be a good way to get them interested in history and connect it to real life."

Mrs. Snyder also said the library just got in a huge collection of ebooks for children. There will be a training session at the library in April to tell parents about the collection and how to use ebooks.

"A lot of people don't know we have those," she said. "And they're free."

And, depending on the time of year or what's happening in Wayne County's school, the children's department staff come up with programs they think will be relevant to what the children are learning about or would be interested in.

There's also a summer reading program to help children not lose what they've learned at school during the year.

"We're heavily invested in early literacy, too," she said.

"We incorporate all the five early literacy practices -- singing, reading, talking, writing and playing -- into all of our storytimes just to help children develop these skills before they start reading so they are ready to read when they get to that point in school.

"We want to get children interested in reading and also know that the library is a place they can come and always feel welcome."