I’m Michael Burris, and I’m very enthusiastic about my new position here as Director of the Holdrege Area Public Library. The library has always been a major influence in my life, and my focus is to make all the library’s services and programs available to make your lives better.
The curious thing about that sentence is just who gets to define “better.” We could be like the North Koreans, and let one all-powerful dictator decide the direction of our lives. Or we could toss the responsibility to our elected (and unelected) officials, like the European Union.
But I don’t want to tell you which way your life should go. It is, after all, your life, and the only thing I want to tell you is that literacy opens doors. You get to decide which doors to open; I just want to insure that you can open all the doors that appeal to you.
Read for pleasure, read for education, read for information, read for employment. (Or mix them up and read for several reasons at the same time! Oh, I’m such a rebel!) Whatever your reasons, reading is fundamental to taking control over your own life – and that control should rest in your own hands. Come to the library and practice being in control!
OK, the public service announcement is out of the way – so here’s the scoop on me. I’ve been married for 24 years, I’m the father of five, and reading has been a compulsion and hobby for longer than either my wife or my children have held my attention. So when the possibility of working in a library came up, everyone around me muttered, “Why didn’t he think of that first?”
We most recently came from Kemmerer, Wyoming, but I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and really prefer to be in the Midwest, even with the humidity and mosquitoes. I’m a passionate advocate of enabling people to make their own choices (which can be greatly expanded by literacy … oh, just go read the third and fourth paragraphs above, again.)
I and my family are really happy to be transplants to Holdrege, and hope to be here and serving you for many years to come!