“Your” Librarian

An incredible thing happened tonight. One of my favorite library trustees and patrons told me that I’m known as “our Chelsea” around the building where she lives.

For someone with a goal to be known as “your librarian” in town, it was magical to hear. I’ve only worked for this community for a little over two years. I still have a long way to go when you consider how many residents have yet to be infected with my doctrine. (Side note: Peter Shankman’s Zombie Loyalists is a must read for anyone with the same goal.)

I want to believe that most public librarians are driven to this profession due to a personal urgency to be of value to a community. But I rarely see it. Yes, we have to deal with unfortunate situations –  mental illness, porn on computers, surprise poop on the floor (not a joke) – on a daily basis. Sometimes you have to turn to wine or you’ll surrender to the dark side. If we make it our personal missions to effect the lives of our patrons, however, the end result provides the perfect balance that will steel us for the frustrating episodes of serving the public.

So it may seem insignificant, but a minor comment like this makes a librarian feel that much more connected to the provided services. And thank you chocolates. We love those.

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2 thoughts on ““Your” Librarian

  1. I enjoyed your essay here; just want to say that since the automated check out was installed, I have almost no reason to stop at the desk, and therefore have almost no contact with librarians. I realize the system allows them to get more work done, but I miss exchanging information, asking questions, commenting on books–personal exchanges that I used to enjoy. Tell them I miss them!

    • Thanks, Martha!

      I’m sorry you feel that you don’t have as much contact with staff. That wasn’t the intent! There should still be two staff members on desk and floating near the self checks. We are working on a new way to station a staff member at the front of the library to greet folks. Hopefully that will fulfill this void.

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