There’s an old saying about “A woman’s work is never done.” I think that could safely be altered to a librarian’s work is never done. Between cataloging and processing new books for the collection, weeding out out-dated and just plain yucky books, shelving items, planning programs, and working with customers (my favorite part of the job), it doesn’t seem like I ever get any job truly done. There’s always books in the bookdrop to be checked in and shelved, customers with questions about the computers and the Internet, and the occasional request for paper (either in the printer or the restroom), I’ve always got something going on. So it’s sometimes a relief to be able to sit quietly for a moment and consider how lucky I am as a librarian.
First of all, don’t get me wrong, libraries aren’t having an easy time of the current economic situation. That said, though, we could have it a lot worse. We’re fortunate here in Elmwood that our community strongly supports us. We get donations of books on a regular basis. While our budget hasn’t increased dramatically, we can thank our lucky stars it hasn’t been cut.
Second, Elmwood PL has a great relationship with our up-and-coming customers. We love it when kids come to our library to look for books, check out the latest Facebook posting, or attend a program. With any luck, in 10 to 20 years when today’s kids are running things, they won’t forget the wonderful experiences they had at the local public library.
Finally, a great deal of work was put in by my predecessor librarians. We don’t have the best collection in the world but I’d certainly put it up against most other towns of a similar size. We had librarians who had the vision and courage to bring diversity to the collection while maintaining the wisdom to preserve those treasures that are wholly unique to this community. This is certainly a collection the town should be proud of. More than that, our library building, while small, is spacious, well-lit and flexible enough to house both computers and books. Somebody was thinking ahead when they built our building; kudos to them!
In short, Elmwood PL is a great place to visit and a wonderful place to work. We’ll be looking at making some improvements to the library services we offer. Electronic books are already high on the priority list to be added to the collection. We’re looking at ways to make our library catalog and resources more available to customers, say, even from their home computers with a web interface of some sort. But we’ll always have books and, with any luck, a librarian who will check them in, shelve them and help all the customers to find them. For now, that’s me, and I am a truly lucky duck.