I usually write my articles about upcoming events, new services we offer or special events. This week, I wanted to focus more on seeing the impact the library makes and the response from the community. I have attended numerous events and meetings lately where different individuals have taken the time to let me know their appreciation for an event, for a service, or for just being a community hub for Fremont that cares about the people. These conversations have really hit home and inspired me.
One of the main topics brought up is the library expansion project. We are still moving forward on the project and are setting up committees and putting people into place to help support the fundraising stage. There are three phases to the project and fundraising is the last part of stage 1. I love to hear people ask me about the new children’s area that allows kids to be kids, or the Makerspaces that promote STEAM learning, or the quiet reading area with the fireplace. Talking about the expansion is something I love to do. Redesigning our community space and describing that to people to give visual imageries is exciting and helps drive my desire to see this project come to fruition. There is just so much wonderful information to share, and the community response has been so positive and overwhelming. It just warms my heart every time.
These conversations also made me reflect on the hard work, extensive hours, and wonderful creativity all the staff puts into everything. Whether it is a new way to catalog materials, a different type of material we want to circulate, adding a program to support teens, or just trying to get together outside of work to celebrate as a family, everybody pitches in. One of our newest employees, John Mullen, has created a new outreach program for our assisted living facilities, where he does live poetry readings and has open poetry discussion with the residents. John’s education and background give him the special skills to be able to interpret and read poetry, a skill some of us lack. This is just one example of the many ideas my staff come up. I have to keep notebooks and a giant whiteboard just to keep track of all the outstanding (and sometimes out-there) ideas we come up with because it may not be something we can do now, but maybe in the future. I encourage my staff to think outside the box and to try new things. As my childhood idol, Michael Jordan, explained, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
I am able to have these daily conversations and discuss the future of the library, because of the wonderful staff we have working here.