Cari Sangster is a friendly face at the Fincastle branch’s circulation desk, where she greets every patron with a smile. Cari has been a library assistant for the Botetourt County Libraries for nearly 10 years. She began her library career at the Buchanan branch, which she frequented as a patron. Cari started out behind the circulation desk on Saturdays, where she was happy to be able to help patrons in the manner that library staff had been assisting her for years. When more hours became available, Cari added other duties to her role there, including a baby story time and a middle grade book club. Cari accepted a full-time position at the Fincastle branch in 2016, which has allowed her to expand the number of children’s programs she offers.
Cari loves working with children. Before working in the library, Cari was a homeschool mom to her three daughters and, over the course of eight years, a foster mom to 25 children. This experience provided a great background for her job at the library, where she offers both active and passive programming for young patrons and their families. Every Tuesday morning, Cari leads a Baby Story Time for ages 6 months to 2 years. Cari also does STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programming for children. She has created several simulated archaeological digs where children could sift through layers of soil in search of artifacts, and has hosted mad science labs with lots of fun, hands-on experiments.
Cari keeps young crafters busy at the Craft Connection, an area of the library that she supplies with craft kits that children can make while at the library or take with them to work on at home. Coloring sheets and other activity pages can be found there as well. Cari also came up with the idea for the library’s annual Spring Fair, which provides local young artisans and entrepreneurs with an opportunity to sell their handmade items and promote their businesses. Last year, CAMS students used the money they raised at the Spring Fair to help fund their school trip to Disney World. The 2020 Spring Fair will be held on Saturday, May 2.
Born into a family of first-generation immigrants from Cuba, Cari is originally from the West Palm Beach area of Florida. She also lived in Alabama and Kentucky before moving to Botetourt County in 1995. Cari has lived in Blue Ridge and Buchanan, and currently resides in Fincastle. While not at the library, Cari loves spending time with her three daughters and her grandson. She also enjoys reading, drawing, crocheting, and binge watching a good TV series. During her time at the library, Cari has discovered that she has quite the green thumb and does an excellent job of caring for the library’s plants. She attends Wellspring Presbyterian Church and enjoys meeting friends for coffee at Land of a Thousand Hills or Fincastle Cafe. If you haven’t met Cari, stop by the Fincastle Library, where you’ll be welcomed with her energy and enthusiasm!