“A Place for the Vulnerable”

19 Jan

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I’ve had plenty of people ask me how I became a librarian (which you can read about here), but no one ever really asks why I became a librarian. I love books and this seemed like a great career to get into if you love books. But as an introvert, it amazes me every day about how much I care about the people I work with and for. Public libraries are spaces that are open to absolutely everyone in the community – not just the privileged and the elite. And in a world where kindness and compassion are not lost, but undermined by the amount of hate we hear about, I believe my job to create a community space is more important than ever.

I love clapping along with toddlers to our favorite storytime song, handing that “my-kid-hates-to-read” kid a book and their eyes light up, helping an adult find the next book in their must-read series, sitting down with a senior and accessing their email that they couldn’t get into for months. Is my job exhausting? Of course it is. Can it be difficult to balance the amount of programming we offer with our staffing hours, choosing what books we purchase and what books we don’t and creating partnerships with organizations that are beneficial to us both? It definitely is and there are days that I’m beaten down and wonder why I do it, but I can honestly tell you that I wouldn’t have it any other way. My job matters to the people in my community for access to information, access to the Internet and a safe place for everyone.

*Thank you to Chris Riddell for illustrating this beautiful quote by Angela Clarke.

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