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Reasons to Smile: Wayne County librarian turned social media superstar in the eyes of local kids

Meet the librarian turned Facebook phenomenon in Wayne County!

WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. — A children’s librarian from Wayne County has become quite the social media star in the eyes of some local kids.

She’s the focus of this "Reasons To Smile" segment with Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey.

Many in the Honesdale area know her as Betty Lawson. To the kiddos who really look up to her, she’s Miss Betty.

When Ryan put out a Facebook post recently asking viewers to nominate someone who’s spreading smiles and doing great things in their community,  one after the other said Miss Betty fits the bill!

She’s the children’s librarian turned Facebook superstar, at least in the eyes of so many area kids. 

"If I could even explain to you the joy of kids who actually end up running into the library, bowling other people over to get to her, I could not ask for anything better as someone who works with such a joyful person and to see the enthusiasm and the love these families have for her, she’s made a difference for years in people's lives," Tracey said.

That smile maker is children’s librarian Betty Lawson from the Honesdale area, AKA Miss Betty. An icon of sorts to so many youngsters who visit the Wayne County Public Library and follow Miss Betty’s storytime on Facebook.

"It's called Snug in A Bug storytime. I started two years ago, and it's got a great following," Miss Betty said. 

Newswatch 16 first met Miss Betty at her home in 2019 when her virtual storytime first launched on Facebook live. And since then, it’s really taken off!

"I have people from locally, I have people from Berks County, people from Europe watching," Miss Betty said. 

The premise is simple: it’s Miss Betty at her house reading a picture book to kids, whether they’re watching from home, a car, or even during bath time. Noah Ree is one of Miss Betty’s local fans!  

"I like when Miss Betty reads books," Noah said. Noah told Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey he is six years old. 

Ryan also asked Noah's mom Nicole what Miss Betty's storytime means to her kid.

"I love the storytime, especially with the COVID that happened once it started in school, stopped his whole schedule, went out of whack for a lot of people, obviously. And having Miss Betty, still doing it at seven o'clock every Sunday, made him smarter. We love Miss Betty," Nicole said. 

And as COVID-19 winds down, Miss Betty doesn’t plan on stopping those special digital world deliveries. After all, she knows not every family has a chance to make it to their local library.

"Just because the pandemic is over, I can't stop doing the virtual because our goal is always to reach those unreachable people, the people that can't get in for whatever the reason is, whether it's transportation or their time, their job hours," Miss Betty said.

And although storytime with Miss Betty always features a different book, her mission remains the same.

"I just think, especially the past couple of years, I've really tried to focus on treating people kindly. We all may look different, but we're all beautiful," Miss Betty said.

A lesson in kindness that’s made a lasting impression on area kids, reminding them at the end of each storytime just how special they really are.

"I'm smart. I am loved. And I am wonderful," Greyson Howell, another one of Miss Betty's listeners, said.

And you can learn more about Miss Betty’s story time “Snug as a Bug Bedtime Story” at this link.