This Library is a busy place. I remember, when I first started as the Librarian, I was a bit downhearted at how lonesome the job was. Open 3 days per week for 18 hours offers limited time for patronage, but seeing up to 5 patrons all day long made it a very quiet place to work. It took only a month before I thought, perhaps, folks did not like me and so were not patronizing the Library. Silly thoughts, this was the place with books after all.
I listened to patrons. They wanted a Book Club. They wanted Children’s programs and Story Times. They wanted relevant and up to date books. They wanted a Library that partnered with other agencies and community businesses. They wanted a library which honored the rich history of the community and kept up with technological times. There was one public access computer.
Slowly it began. Training opportunities from the North Dakota State Library provided information and additional resources. The Board instructed this new Librarian to find out the rules and laws regarding the Library and proceed from there. Webinars, now widely popular for all manners of free training for almost any job position provided hours of tips and hints regarding how to run a library.
Books which hadn’t been read in 70 plus years were removed from shelves or put into a special collection, all things Mott or North Dakota. Books with damage or that moldy smell were removed. Some were classics, good Librarians had chosen well over the 100 or so years the Library had been open. Books which weren’t circulating needed to be relocated. New books were needed to replace them and interest new and existing patrons.
Programs needed visibility so the need to write articles for the local papers as well as posters, business cards and outreach to agencies, the school, child cares, the public at large commenced. Practice using existing software for publishing documents was interesting. Learning new software added challenges but was well worth it.
Starting something new is always exciting. Remembering the feel as you enter a favorite Library and then trying to recreate it is challenging and incites your most creative self. Vision, reality, daily tasks and building, the actual book by book, activity by activity building of the dream feels euphoric and demanding at the same time.
Stop by to see what a budding public Library looks like. The Mott Public Library is open Mondays from 10-1 then 1:30-6:30, Wednesdays from 12-7 and Fridays from 8-11.
Your Librarian, Carol