Early Childhood Counselor
Library. The word brings to my mind a number of other words, such as books, movies, music, magazines, newspapers, stories, solutions, magic, imagination, other worlds, new cultures, life-line, knowledge, answers, relaxation, escape, kindness, community, classes, technology, fun, creativity, new friends, comfort, excitement, peace, beauty, and people. As part of the myriad trials and challenges throughout my life, the library has been a place of solace, a life-line to much needed information, and a respite from the stress of meeting these challenges. The library is much more than a mortar and brick building, it is alive with the history, creativity and energy that folks present and past share with each other through pen and paper, conversation, and recorded sounds and images. During the recent major storms and power outages, I retreated to this special place for some cool air conditioning and to power my cell phone while I pondered my next moves for the coming days. As I settled into a comfy chair with a book and some knitting, I watched as the staff members went above and beyond their usual helpful selves, and provided support, encouragement, and at times, a listening ear as regular patrons and those new to the library wandered in red-faced and sighing from the already intense heat. The genuine care, focus and attention given by the staff to those suffering during this difficult time of crisis moved me. I was impressed by their genuiness, their thoughtfulness in telephoning to check on several patrons, and their calm and comforting presence. I was grateful once again to have this treasured place in our community, thankful to Benjamin Franklin for starting the library so long ago with the intention that it be free for the community to access, and reminded how much the library and its staff are an integral part of our lives.