Friday, June 25, 2010
A Librarian's Perfect Day
I wake up and the sun is streaming into my bedroom. There is not a cloud in the sky and it is already 75 degrees outside.
I weigh myself and I have lost 10 pounds since yesterday. Excellent!
I get dressed, eat breakfast and skip happily out to my car with my nonfat, sugar free caramel latte (with no whip), excited to head for work.
I arrive at the library early to teach a computer class. The class is full and everyone has just the level of skills needed to get the most out of the class. We are teaching a new Computer Basics class that includes how to post resumes to websites, how to send email attachments, cut and paste, etc., all of the skills we get asked about during the course of our work day. At the end of class, one student says, “I’ve learned more today in 15 minutes than a full-day’s class that I took somewhere else.”
When I am finished with my computer class, all staff members scheduled for the day have arrived, ready for work. No one calls in sick; no one has to leave early.
Staff is all getting ready to welcome our customers. We love books, but we love people more.
At 10am, we open the doors and 50 people are waiting to come in, all smiling. Even the guy who does his back exercises in the restroom is coherent today.
I am at the reference desk when a staff member tells me I am needed in the lobby. A customer wants to tell me something about the restroom. That’s OK, because I am even wearing my toilet-plunging shoes today. But no worries. The customer wants to tell me how beautiful the library is, how clean the restrooms are and how much she loves the display we have in our lobby display case – a collectibles display from a community member. (We make our display case available to community members as well as staff).
I look around the library, and I see a mother sitting in our rocking chair with her toddler on her lap. She is reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to her little girl and they both are laughing.
There are several other small children in the children’s area. Their parents are all with them and none of the children are crying or screaming.
The teen room is filling up with teens who are talking quietly and using the computers. An occasional bit of laughter wafts over from the room. The adults at the computers nearby smile indulgently.
A senior asks for help with the large print books. I find just the right book for her and she thanks me, calling me “young lady.”
Several people come up to thank me for the change in the number of free copies available on the computers now – 70 per week instead of 10 per day. They tell me this has been a lifesaver for them since they are job hunting.
A gentleman approaches and says he has a question he knows I won’t be able to answer, but he thought he would try anyway. When I pull up the answer in a matter of minutes, he smiles, shakes my hand, and walks away saying, “This library is the best thing since sliced bread. I am going to tell all of my friends.”
After lunch, I go out for a walk through our new Farmer’s Market which is in front of the library every Thursday. Everyone I encounter knows my name. I am invited to speak at the Businessman’s Association lunch and the PTA. I am glad because I have some new videos promoting our small business and homework databases put together by our Community Relations Department that I want to show them. A Lions Club member stops me. His group has heard about some of our programs and wants to talk about some partnership opportunities and to donate some money to our Friends of the Library. I am glad that I have been keeping in touch.
I return to the reference desk and answer several more questions during the afternoon, amazing all who ask.
As the day draws to a close, I look up from the desk and there is Tom Cruise.
He asks me where the pencil sharpener is. I show him and he tells me about the movie he wants to make in Mountlake Terrace. He has heard about the library and all of the interesting programs we have, such as our citizenship classes, our Russian and Spanish Family story times, our Foodie Book Group, our Book Buddies program, our "Family Night at the Library" and our "Saturdays at the Library" programs series, and he wants to do a movie about the library as a community gathering place.
He asks if I would like to go to dinner with him to discuss the possibilities.
I say yes. He had me at “Where’s the pencil sharpener.”
This has been a librarian’s perfect day.
"The persons, incidents and situations portrayed in this account are almost all true.”
I will let you figure out what isn’t...
Here’s a hint: The sun doesn’t shine here much.