A variety of brightly colored books line the shelves of the Luke Air Force Base Library as Jennifer Crowell, the library director, stocks new arrivals.
Arriving Feb. 4, Crowell is one of Luke’s newest Thunderbolts. Previously, she spent five years as a librarian in Peoria.
Overall, in the last 14 years, Crowell has travelled across northwestern Arizona gaining experience in the career that she loves.
“Making connections,” said Crowell, mother of two sons and a daughter. “Making connections with families and making connections with Airmen, that’s what I love about being a librarian.”
Crowell spent a portion of her youth in Las Vegas while her dad was stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada. When he finished his enlistment there, they moved to northern Arizona and stayed until she graduated from high school. She then enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for four years as a postal clerk.
Being a librarian and back on a base gives her the opportunity to not only read local tales, but allows her to be back near military members and hear about their experiences.
“I love stories in every form,” Crowell said. “Fiction, non-fiction, young adult, children’s books and biographies. Everyone has a story to tell.”
The base services more than 100,000 people annually including military members, family members and retirees. With that number of people, there are many tales to hear at Luke.
“I was thinking about how many people are here and how we don’t really know what they’ve done,” she said. “You could be standing in the midst of a war hero and you don’t even know it.”
According to Crowell, one of her favorite things about her job is making connections with people that may be new to the base, because she’s been in those shoes. She wants to make people feel welcome in the library.
“I have two sons (Soldiers) deployed overseas, and I want to welcome our Airmen the way I want people to welcome my own kids,” Crowell said.
The library has many things to offer, including more than 30,000 materials that are readily available to Airmen and their families. There are numerous books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs and more.
“We have a summer reading program coming up,” Crowell said. “A lot of people think it’s just for kids, but it’s not. It’s for everybody.”
For more information on the library, call 623-856-7191.