Turning the page from school librarian to bookstore owner

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Posted at 9:40 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 23:04:31-05

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Fawn Fernandes was ready to do something different with her career after the pandemic.

She was a teacher and school librarian at a private school, but with support from her husband, she was ready for a new chapter in her career.

Fernandes is the owner of Curious Capybara Book Shop in Hendersonville.

As a former school librarian, she can't ignore what is happening locally when it comes to children's books in public schools.

"Not everybody can buy books from a bookstore, and I would never expect them to," said Fernandes.

"However, what I can do from my bookstore is I don't have to worry about my employer and reflecting, you know, their concerns or, you know, the political things going on there. I get to just advocate for reading," Fernandes said.

On her shelves, you can find a story that speaks to just about every kid.

Fernandes even has a banned book section.

She remembers when a school district in East Tennessee wanted to ban the book Maus and how the local community came together for students.

"As a librarian, you get to give away books; as a bookstore, you don't often get to just give them away. So, I loved how the community came together to make sure that kids had access to that important book," she said.

Fernandes said her doors will always be open for kids wanting equal representation in books.

She hopes school districts and public libraries can take a page out of her book.