These are excerpts of a lengthy reflection Emily wrote to the Newbury Public Library Trustees upon her departure. We appreciate her permission to share with you.
……… I love my job! I love igniting the passion for reading in each child that I interact with. I play Legos with zest and build puzzles with gusto.
Our library is not just about checking in and out books and movies or suggesting the latest audio book for a patron’s trip; our library is so much more!! Our library is based on relationships with our patrons. The people that work here fulfill a need in so many people’s lives whether it be listening about the latest stories of their grandchildren, taking a moment during a home delivery visit to reprogram a remote control, calling a concerned child to let them know their elderly parent might not be feeling so good, handing out resources for veteran services or helping load audio onto a laptop because the person “never had to do this before”. Children come in to spend time with the librarians just to touch base and talk (not about a book but about life) over a cup of hot chocolate. I am honored, even though it has been only a 10-month span, to be part of this community hub.
I began my relationship with our library when my children were small. Story time gave refuge for a new parent and continues to do so for so many. My girls participated in the after-school programs with enthusiasm and gratitude. The end of the year patron report highlighted we were the 2nd family to check out the most books (many times over now). My family finds comfort in the library. We are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the programming through open age group invitations. We have borrowed museum passes and made family memories all because of the library. Now to provide that to others in my role of children’s librarian was an amazing opportunity.
I approached this position with an educator background. I attempted to make the children’s room into a literature enriched space. I labeled chairs, windows, benches, the sink, the ramp and Lego sets all to make the connection between items and their names. I posted information about how reading to your child opens significant language development doors and highlighted specific reading strategies for parents/guardians to use at home. I created a parent reading strategies workshop. The workshop was not well attended (2 people) though the brochures that were created to accompany the workshop have been picked up by many adults.
It is my hope that the library continues to provide local shelters with the books that are donated. I have delivered books to a family shelter in Manchester and a women’s shelter in Laconia. Both shelters were thankful and excited to provide their families with the comfort of a good book.
After School Programs
I cannot even begin to explain through the perspective of a parent and as the creator of the afterschool programs how important the afterschool programs are for our families. We are providing a service to our community families by providing an opportunity and a place for children to go, learn about something new, build relationships with each other as well as a positive relationship with the library all at no cost. Our programs give parents a break from the weekly cost of daycare. As a parent I am thankful for this and as the afterschool facilitator I am thankful to know that the children are continuing to build a relationship with the library for years to come.
I want to thank the Board of Trustees, Lea, and Laura for an incredible experience working at the library. I will continue to be an involved patron and support the library wholeheartedly. Thank you for all that you all do for our community!!!