YOUTH SERVICES LIBRARIAN, PLATTSBURGH PUBLIC LIBRARY
Hometown: Brownville, NY
Age: 31 Education: BA, SUNY Potsdam; MSEd, Binghamton University; MLIS, Rutgers University
Ben Carman began his career as a teacher, but after three years in the classroom he found a new passion. “Being a librarian is about relationships, not just books,” he told SB. Visit the Children’s Room in the lower level of the Plattsburgh Public Library and you will meet Ben (Mr. Ben to his fans). What you will find there is a space packed full of what it takes to stimulate children, and a man who smiles a lot and is committed to promoting early literacy, creativity and socialization.
What are you doing to make a difference in your community?
I assist in providing and maintaining a free neutral space for everyone in our community to gather, play, socialize, and be among books, information, and people.
What’s the single most important characteristic for success?
Compassion. We are all one, and it is so important to support each other in our work and personal lives. Listening goes a long way. A smile does, too.
What’s your biggest professional success?
Becoming “Mr. Ben.”
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I am always trying to adjust my routine and find balance. I always have music on. That’s a must. Currently, I’m enjoying my hammock chair, art books, and working on a children’s book. My partner Ray is my biggest supporter.
What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
I hope that we see more affordable housing, public transportation, and continued efforts to beautify our city. I also hope that the community can continue to show their support for students who come to our town to study and live. The presence of SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College contributes to the diversity of our population, and we need to welcome and embrace that.
What is something that no one would guess about you?
I am a “secret” introvert. I love to be among people, but do struggle with anxiety. Being around children and families gives me purpose and joy.