Sharyn Smith
@ Your Library

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July 25, 2012
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Patrons are what makes the Eagle library special

In previous columns I've discussed good books, new databases, and services offered at the library. But for me, the most rewarding part of working at the library is the patrons. I've been awed, intrigued, and delighted with the customers who have come through the libraries' doors.

Memories of some patrons always make me smile. For example, one day an older lady slapped a paperback book from the exchange rack onto the counter and indignantly declared, "That's the dirtiest book I've ever read. All of it." Another time a little girl seated on the bench of the girls reading sculpture leaned over and whispered into the sculptured ear, "I like your dress."

Not all interactions have been happy, but nevertheless touching. A man needed help writing a eulogy for his best friend. A young girl needed help dealing with a family suicide.

Some people are memorable because of their questions. One couple wanted to know the frequency of earthquakes in the area where they were thinking about moving. Even I was surprised to discover a website with that information. One gentleman passing through found information about his grandmother's tragic death from a memoir in the historical records. He had not previously known about this part of his family history.

People asking questions were often as interesting as the questions themselves. One gentleman wanted to know how to become invisible. He was certain Denver Public Library could help if we did not have the information.

Of course, not every transaction is with a satisfied customer but even those interactions are interesting. Even the curmudgeons and characters add spice to a mundane day.

Conversations with patrons that started out with book recommendations have turned into lasting friendships. Some patrons I first knew as toddlers now bring their own children to library programs.

It has been a joy to serve all ages - children, teens, adults, and seniors - in my 26 years with at the Eagle Library. I am retiring from my job of reference and adult services librarian. Please join me at an open house celebration of my retirement on Sunday, July 29, from 2:30 to 4:30 at the Eagle Library. You, with your questions, stories, and friendships, have made it a great 26 years.

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The VailDaily Updated Jul 25, 2012 12:51PM Published Jul 25, 2012 12:49PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.