My Mothers Library.
My mom worked at the library. The Library became part of the family business.
It was a township library. She ran the reference section. We learned many lessons from her.
The reference desk or information desk of a library is a public service counter where professional librarians provide library users with direction to library materials, advice on library collections and services, and expertise on multiple kinds of information from multiple sources.
Early on Mom she taught is a life lesson in diversity and tolerance. Mom had a story of a rabbit; that came to the door crying. It seems the inside of the poor fellows ears were brown instead on pink. The rabbit cried to Mom and explained how it’s narrow minded in tolerant friends excluded him from all the bunny games.
The Librarian measured the rabbit’s ears and went to her sewing basket. Mom made two socks like sleeves that were pink one side. Wearing the socks the rabbit fit right in. He was accepted by the others and joined in all their activities.We learned other things from our personal librarian. We learned that the USA is a great place. We toured Washington D.C., Williamsburg and Jamestown. We visited Gettysburg and learned of Little Round Tree, Pickett’s Charge and that 43,000 died there. She took us across the USA, to the San Diego Zoo, Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. Together with Dad we drove California State Route 1, the Big Sur, and toured Hearst Castle.
Got to see the Roman Pool, a.k.a. the Servants pool; a million dollar interior pool seldom used by Hearst’s guests. The learning continued at Yellowstone, Yosemite and Redwoods; we visited so many National Parks. We saw Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. Life lessons come in many ways.Learning from a Librarian we were exposed to all the departments. Libraries are often divided into departments staffed by both paraprofessionals and professional librarians.
· Circulation – Handles user accounts and the loaning/returning and shelving of materials. Each of the siblings, neighbors, friends and families had accounts with Mom and drew on her services in their own way.
· Collection Development – Orders materials and maintains materials budgets. This was a Matriarchal masterpiece, finding forty dollars for a pair of Adidas, or just enough for two round trip suburban transit tickets, a two-fer and Nathans; masterful.
· Reference – Staffs a reference desk answering questions from users (using structured reference interviews), instructing users, and developing library programming. Answering questions, often unasked and always developing-
· Technical Services – Works behind the scenes cataloging and processing new materials and culling new items. Another 4 star performance in the midst of civil rights, Vietnam and everything that invaded the 70’s- Mom’s Tech services were busy.
· Stacks Maintenance – Re-shelves materials that have been returned to the library after patron use and shelves materials that have been processed by Technical Services. Stacks Maintenance was Mom’s key to family always returning each to our proper place. Never too sad, too scolded or too proud.
That rabbit returned one day, it told Mom that it had forgotten the sleeves she sowed. The other in the warren did not notice! The accepted the rabbit for who he was, not the color inside his ears.
Thanks Mom and Happy Mother’s Day.