It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day today and we are open here at the BPL. Which is also why I was so late on the Monday Discussion this morning; we have been busy.
One of the nice things about MLK Day is how the country has used the example of Dr. King and made celebrating this day more than just an extra day off of school for kids. It has become a day of service. Employers encourage their workers to take the day off and often arrange for a group service project.
This got me thinking about our jobs as public library workers. Yes, you can not work with leisure readers without loving to read, but all of us who choose to ply our profession at the public library do so because we care about helping people. Our job is all about community service.
The library is a place used by people representing all subsets of your community. I know for me, being able to help all comers with any question they may have, and thus, making their day a little better, is why I do this. Goodness knows it is not for the money.
Helping people with whatever they need from the latest best seller to tax forms, to medical information to help them to understand a new diagnosis better, for example, is why I am here. When I ask you if you need help, I truly want to be the one to help you.
I still remember a patron from years ago who I helped to find an obituary in our local paper from the 1930s. For this patron it was the last piece of a genealogy puzzle he had been working on for decades. The question was simple to me, but to him, it was everything. This ability to provide life altering services to people every day and not charging them for it, is a joy.
So I thought for today, in honor of the King holiday, I would ask everyone to share their stories of service. If you don't work in a public library, share a personal story.
You can follow past Monday Discussions here.
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