I just finished my run as a Library Clerk at the Town and Country Library in my home town. This summer would have been my sixth there, but I am off to full-time school beginning June 2nd. I have had a more emotional time leaving than I thought, but it’s because of all the wonderful people I worked with who helped raise me and were my close friends.
I began at the library after my senior year of high school, where I was hired as a part-time page, working practically full time. I spent my summers shelving the massive amounts of books that were returned during the summer reading program, and I remember going home after my first few days and seeing the Dewey Decimal numbers when I closed my eyes. And I dreamt of alphabetizing. Along the way, all the library clerks became surragate mothers to me, asking about my grades and my social life, making sure I was on track and helping me get scholarships and into school. The library was always second home where someone was always glad to see me, even if it was just because the books were overflowing in the back.
I was fortunate to find such a wonderful place to return to each summer and holiday break in between college terms. While there were sometimes new faces, and sometimes familiar ones were gone, I always felt welcomed home. I doubt it’s often that a person finds a job where their boss squeals your name with joy everytime you walk in to work another shift, but that’s exactly the welcome I received each and every day.
My senior year of college I was promoted to Library Clerk, and I finally got a respite from shelving all those maddening books. Think about the person who has to put them away next time you check out a handful you know you’ll never get around to reading. And after today, I will be a regular patron just like everyone else. I am sincerely thankful to my friends at the library for all the love and support over the years, and for those who don’t realize, Librarians do many special, often ridiculous jobs for their community members everyday, whether it be research or ordering, strange phone calls, or errands. A library is a remarkable place, with remarkable people, and I am glad I got to be a part of it for 5 wonderful years. I will miss it, and my coworkers and friends, very much.
So here’s a cheer to librarians!