Celebrate National Library Week – by Kelly Unsworth

Kelly Unsworth is head of Children’s Services at the Morrill Memorial Library.  Read her column in the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin.

You might be a passionate library user if:

Every now and then, I meet a young person who seems destined to become a librarian.  She might love technology, or he might enjoy reading and recommending books to patrons.  These youngsters frequent the library, volunteer their services and utilize all that the library has to offer.  But what truly sets them apart from the other library users is a passion for everything book related: new books, book clubs, movies from books, author visits, new technology, and the library in general.

Most often, I will suggest to these students that they might consider a career in Library Science, and I answer the slew of questions that are likely to follow.  Although I realize that only a few of these children will enter the field of librarianship, many others will go on to become what I like to refer to as “passionate public library users.”  Librarians know who these patrons are; they are in the library almost daily, they schedule their days around library visits, they bring their children to the library, they bring other people’s children to the library, they frequent library events, are aware of the technology available to them, they know how to place a reserve on a book that has not yet been published, and they are on a first name basis with the library staff.  As librarians, it is our goal to create passionate library users and to satisfy the needs of these users.  Many of you reading this article may recognize yourself in my description, but if you need more convincing, feel free to read the following list:

“You Might be a Passionate Library User if…

You come in to the library for a quick visit and you leave…4 hours later.

The first place you visit on vacation is the local library.

The number for Museum Passes is in your speed dial.

You would never, ever, consider joining Netflix: why pay money for movies when you can get them free at the library?

You peruse the shelves at Barnes & Noble, then head for the library to find the books.

You know the warmest/coldest/ loudest/quietest spots in the library.

You feel a jolt of excitement when the library e-news arrives.

You consider Movie Night at the library a “Date Night Out.”

You daydream about retiring and volunteering in the library.

You cancel your newspaper and magazine subscriptions because you can read them at the library.

You compulsively straighten bookshelves, at other people’s houses.

You approach your child’s research project as an exciting challenge.

You have your library card number and PIN committed to memory.

You don’t have to ask if Lucy the R.E.A.D. Dog is a real animal.

You are a stalker at the Speed Read shelf.

And lastly, you bring baked goods to the library staff during the holiday seasons!

So, in honor of National Library Week, the staff at your public library would like to extend a thank you to all of the “passionate public library users.”  Keep coming in, and bring a few of your friends.

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