I will end this year’s Blog Every Day of June the way I started – with public libraries.
I never planned to work in public libraries. I wanted to be a librarian since Grade 6 and always imagined that I would be a school librarian, or once I had done by library course placement in university, a special librarian. I had experience in Year 10 in a public library, but that hadn’t changed my mind. But I took a chance, and applied for and got my first job as a new graduate in a public library. I have been in public libraries every since.
Not that I haven’t had a chance to get out, I have had a few and nearly taken them as well, but for various reasons, didn’t and I don’t regret that for a moment.
Public libraries have been good to me and for me and I take some pride in knowing that I have been good for them too. They are a valuable, local resource that we are forever trying to let more people know about and when we succeed its awesome and when we don’t, its frustrating.
I was fortunate that my family were always public library users and some of my early memories of making my own decisions, rotated around choosing what I wanted to read, not just what the adults thought I should. I want that kind of experience for many others as well.
There has been much talk about the death of public libraries, but I can’t see that happening, at least not in my lifetime and hopefully not in my children’s. Public libraries are great at change – we were amongst the first public institutions to come on board with computers and then the internet – we have free wireless without having any pressure for a purchase or other commitment and we are open and welcoming to all. Plus we have those old things people keep asking for, local history stuff and oh yeah, books.
We are embedded in our local communities, have their needs at the forefront of what we do and we do it without vested interest in anything but the community. What other free community service can that be said about?
I love working in a public library, I love what we do for our communities and that we are always looking to meet their changing needs. And I plan to be there for a while yet, helping to make that happen.
Thanks for reading during the Blog every day of June. It has been a great reflective and challenging experience for us all I would guess!