Why I Do What I Do

As I was leaving the library this morning for my annual budget discussion meeting with the City Manager and Clerk, a patron stopped and greeted me. Out of no where she said, "I'm so glad you're here and the library's here." There was no way she could have known where I was headed, but her comment greatly quelled any nerves I may have had about the meeting.

That comment also reminded me why I'm here and why I do what I do. Whatever her reasons for her passion for the library, it's my job to ensure that she has access to the services and resources she needs. It's my job to justify expenditures and requests for funding for library services to the Board and City Council so that we can continue to provide those services and resources.

Books, CDs, DVDs, magazines - all of these are often times viewed as frivolities to council members who have other ideas for taxpayer dollars. I've discussed before how an investment in these items can actually save the community money. But it's also the story times, research help, computer classes, teen programs, author visits, presentations and many other things beyond the physical items that add value to the library as a public service. None of these would be possible without the library's most valuable asset - staff.

A significant portion of the library's budget goes towards staff salaries and benefits, and any cut to the library's budget would mean a cut to staff. I'd hate to see that. I'm very grateful for the staff that I have, and for all that they do to make the library what it is for the community. The library would not be the same without their years of experience, their knowledge, and their positive customer service.

I came into this position for what I feel was a pretty young age. I only had three years of library experience behind me, but I'm grateful that Board and the City have given me this opportunity to serve in this position and gain even more valuable experience.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought or fantasized about moving beyond Oskaloosa. Or what it would have been like if I had never left the Lawrence. However, that patron's comment reminded me how much I am needed and appreciated here, and how happy I am to be here.

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