About the Libraray
2016 marks my ninth year working at Rogers Free Library.
To date, photography excluded, this is the job I’ve kept and loved the longest. If you told me years ago I’d be working at a library I may have laughed in your face. I thought librarians were some of the most intelligent people on the planet. How they could encompass so much knowledge about not only books but general studies was/is beyond me. Clearly I would NOT be worthy to work with such people.
But alas, here I am. While I am not a librarian, I have sure learned about what it’s like to be one. It is NOT a total cliche to say I learn something new here everyday. I also learn a LOT while I deal with the public and our patrons. I wanted to take the time to write about my experiences here because I think they are really important and inspiring.
#1 We Aren’t All About the Book
Sure, I check out lots of books to patrons everyday. We also checkout movies, magazines, music CDs, e-readers and tablets. But this building is more than that. People meet, study and access the Internet here. When one’s printer stops working or runs out of ink they run to the library to print. We are always there for you. In some instances this is a building where people can access clean water and warmth from the cold winter outside. You’d have to work here everyday to see it, but we see it. People have rolled in with most of their belongings on their back. They sit and read all day, sometimes they use the bathroom sink to slick their hair back neatly and freshen their appearance.
(Toronto Public Library)
#2 We Aren’t Going Anywhere
There are articles all over the Internet that question the future of the library. I can see that. Lots of professions are crumbling in the digital age. But let’s recall the key to survival – adapting. Libraries have given up card catalogs and encyclopedias for computers and online resources. The interior structures have changed from study areas to Idea Studios and technology assistance. Part of the reason I started my drop-in tech help is help people. Who else can help youth a product besides a big company like Apple or Geek Squad? Costs a pretty penny to see these tech folk. Why not share my skills and help educate the public for FREE. Big business can get more competitive and compete with high prices and unattainable customer service. Well let us scoop up those customers and give them a hand. Librarians and directors are now business people – identifying trends, customer base and demographics more than ever.
This is all very fascinating to me. I feel like I am at a crossroads and someday I will look back and remember this all happening. Isn’t that exciting? I think so.