Aly Mallets, 325th Force Support Squadron library aide, assembles a Take-and-Make craft bag at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 3, 2022. The Tyndall Library offers Take-and-Make crafts in conjunction with reading initiatives, including bi-weekly Story Time and the Summer Reading Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)
Aly Mallets, 325th Force Support Squadron library aide, powers on an interactive, educational launch pads for children at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 3, 2022. Mallets was hired at the Tyndall Library in early 2022 after relocating to the installation with her active duty spouse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)
Aly Mallets, 325th Force Support Squadron library aide, assembles a Take-and-Make craft bag at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 3, 2022. Mallets designs the craft projects for children, incorporating all kinds of mediums and textures including toilet paper rolls, puppets, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, paste, glitter, crayons and paint. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)
Aly Mallets, 325th Force Support Squadron library aide, inspects an interactive, educational launch pad for children at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 3, 2022. The Tyndall Library has various launch pads loaded with games for children to check out. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Not everyone is suited for life at a library but for Aly Mallets, 325th Force Support Squadron library aide, it’s the ideal environment. Mallets’ creative spirit pours into her work at the Tyndall Library, giving back to Team Tyndall members.

Mallets is originally from Beavercreek, Ohio, and comes from a military family. She married an active duty communications Airman in 2019, which is what lead her to Tyndall in 2022. Mallets was hired at the base library shortly thereafter. Being a library aide has allowed her to capitalize on her strengths; she leads the creative charge in designing and executing craft-based projects offered by the Tyndall Library.

“I enjoy craft time [because] I get to be creative…making cute little crafts for the kids,” said Mallets. “I love giving [the crafts] to them and seeing their little smiling faces.”

Take-and-Make crafts are offered in conjunction with reading initiatives, including bi-weekly Story Time and the Summer Reading Program. Mallets selects the craft project, keeping in mind age concerns and the need for crafts to be simple. She incorporates all kinds of mediums and textures including toilet paper rolls, puppets, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, paste, glitter, crayons and paint.

“They can express themselves in unique ways [and] it’s important for them to learn how to do a step-by-step [project] at a young age, and they can use that [skill] later on,” said Mallets.

In addition to ensuring craft projects are available for children, Mallets serves library patrons in a customer service role by encouraging patrons to read and take advantage of the many different forms of media the Tyndall Library offers. This includes books, graphic novels and interactive, educational launch pads for children.

“Yes, we offer books, but we offer so much more; we have test prep, movies and audiobooks,” said Mallets. “There’s something for everybody here; some morale for the Airmen: you can come in and get a movie, you can get a videogame. It’s really important for relaxation; to separate form work and take a break sometimes…escape from that 24/7-work mindset.”

For those who love to read, the Tyndall Library participates in the Department of Defense’s Summer Reading Program. Mallets helped execute the initiative for the first time this year, totaling 163 registered participants, both child and adult, amassing 111,986 read minutes during the six-week period.

“I loved seeing how happy the kids were; they had so much fun with the activities” Mallets said.  “It was very much a team effort [and] I love helping people.”

Mallets explained that she finds it challenging to encourage young adults to read physical books, but she doesn’t let it deter her.

“Reading is very healthy for you,” said Mallets. “Even me [being 21 years old] I prefer hand-held materials over reading something on my phone. When someone comes in and they [need help finding a book] I help them find what they actually need; I love doing that.”

To find about more about opportunities at the library or to participate in a crafting experience designed by Aly and her team, visit www.facebook.com/tyndalllibrary for upcoming events.

Tyndall’s Library is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located on the second floor of the Base Support Center, Bldg. 662. They can be reached at tafblibrary@gmail.com or by calling 850-283-2325.

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