After 24 years as Eagle Public Library's children's librarian, I am redefining myself as I move into adult and reference services. It is very fitting that this transition is happening in my life while my younger child heads off to college.
This is both an exciting and bittersweet time. I am looking forward to playing a new role, yet I have been reading to children every week for almost half my life. No more weekly story times with "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "I'm a little teapot," and "Where is Thumbkin?" I cannot put into words the joys I experienced getting to know these youngsters and their parents. Reading aloud to them each week was my very favorite part of the job, and I will miss that very much.
I will also miss getting to know the older children through our annual summer reading program. I had fun developing so many summer reading themes throughout the years - wildlife, bugs, ocean, fairy tales, mysteries, outer space, pets - just to name a few. I enjoyed watching the story-time babies, toddlers, and preschoolers grow into independent young readers.
I saw so many children grow into adults over the past two decades. Several of them now bring their children to the library's programs.
I feel like I grew up in so many ways, as well. The public library has been a very big part of my existence. I love being around all the books with so much literature and information - I can honestly think of no better place for me to work. I also enjoy interacting with the people who come into the library.
I still remember the first time I walked into the Eagle Public Library in 1988. I was a library school student from University of North Texas, and was visiting my parents. My mom and I walked into the library, and the nice lady working at the front desk gave me a tour. I remember thinking what a great place this would be to work, and what a nice co-worker this woman would be. And I was right. Sharyn and I both remember this first time we met.
Sharyn Smith just retired after over 26 years. She will be missed by both patrons and co-workers. She made a significant impact on library service during her tenure and we are fortunate to have her available as a substitute. I can continue to count on her wealth of reference knowledge and experience as I begin my new role.
I am literally in the middle of our staffing changes. I have been gleaning expertise from Sharyn, and at the same time have had the pleasure to train and work with our new children's librarian, Amy Reyes. Amy is a recent graduate with a Masters in Library Science from University of Denver. She has some innovative ideas and is already a friendly presence in the children's room to welcome our young library users. She will continue offering weekly story times and other children's programs.
I work with a wonderful staff, and we make a great team as we serve library patrons every day - checking out materials, fielding reference questions, giving computer assistance, offering library programs or just talking about what we're reading!
How fortunate I am to start a brand new job with exciting changes, yet still work with the same great crew and for the same wonderful establishment. I am looking forward to continuing my work here and delve into the realms of adult literature and reference. After over two decades, I can finally say I am a "grown up" librarian!