ROCKFORD (WREX) – Amber Kresol has spent the majority of her life at the Rockford Public Library
She began working as a volunteer when she was 14 years old, providing her with much more than just a job.
“It was just a great tool to explore the world and explore who I am and figure out who I was through books and socializing with other teenagers my age,” said Kresol.
Kresol went off to college and tried going down different paths, but everything eventually led back to the library.
“I started taking a lot of psychology and sociology courses and told myself I wasn’t going to be a librarian, but something just stuck.”
I didn’t want to give it up. I definitely wanted to be here as long as I could.”
Now with a Master’s Degree, Kresol treats the library as a second home and wants to help kids in our area feel the same way.
She spends most of her time in the “Young Adult Zone” which is used as a space for volunteer projects or for kids to relax and feel safe.
“We’re really lucky to have Amber because she really has a passion for teens and for tweens and for providing services that meet their needs,” said Rockford Public Library Assistant Director Emily Klonicki.
“She not only is able to connect with them but she’s also able to connect them to each other and a lot of friendships are formed here.”
One of those friendships is between Kresol and 19 year old Johnathon Verner.
Verner moved to Rockford from Minnesota in 2017.
He credits Kresol for helping the transition to his new home a lot smoother.
“She got me involved in a lot of the volunteer things, she let me play a lot of the games. I’ve made a lot of friends here who I consider family now,” said Verner.
The effort Kresol is putting in has not only helped the kids become more comfortable with themselves, it’s made her the person they all turn to.
“She’s just always been the woman that you go to if you have questions about library, if you want to do something new,” said Verner.
Being a Rockford native, Kresol has actively watched the growth of her hometown and calls her commitment to the library her contribution to the city’s evolution.
“I like to think that I’m a part of the reason why it’s been developing like that because we are helping to form these teenagers,” said Kresol.
“I remember what that still feels like when I needed someone so I take a lot of pride in it.”
A role she doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.
“I definitely want to be here for a very long time. I was born and raised in Rockford and I don’t intend to leave.”
You can see what kind of events and projects the Rockford Public Library offers young adults at https://www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org/youth-2/