When you walk into the Durango Public Library, what do you notice?
Materials that are ready for you to check out. People meeting, talking, sharing a cup of coffee or attending an event. A clean, well-maintained building. Friendly staff who are ready to help you find what you are looking for or to provide you with assistance with other needs, such as technology, printing, scanning and more. The community room you rented set up as requested and ready to go.
This does not come about by magic. It takes a dedicated staff to manage all operations of the library. From selecting and recommending materials to shelving to cleaning the restrooms, we are not doing these jobs for recognition and money. So why do people work in libraries, or for government in general?
We want to give back to our community, to make it a better place. Our employees enjoy setting you up with a library card, putting a fantastic book or DVD into your hands, and conducting a program that is designed to entertain and enlighten.
People in all aspects of government service really do believe in what we do. Libraries, streets, public safety, recreation – each of these services (and all the departments behind the scenes) make for a successful, happier community, and they are nothing without the people who make them run.
The library team are all members of our community, and we want it to be the best it can be – working here helps us contribute to that goal, each and every day.
We take pride in our work. I am always satisfied when I can answer a question, no matter how easy or unusual it may seem. Or finding a great book to share with a reluctant reader, and then have them come back and ask for more – that is priceless. Honestly, if you ask us for a recommendation, you’ll probably leave with a stack of materials! We rarely if ever get complaints about the condition of our building –that is the true testament to the work ethic of our maintenance team.
We appreciate working in a learning environment. We relish in finding the answer to a difficult question. Don’t remember the title of that book you loved? We will work with you to figure it out. Did you read a magazine article and can’t find it? We are here to help. We are consistently learning something new at our jobs and are excited to share our knowledge with you. People think library staff know all of the answers. We don’t; we just know how to find the correct ones.
Finally, our jobs entail a lot of diversity. The types of questions we are asked, the materials we provide, the community members who come through our doors – libraries truly reflect the diversity of our area.
Each day we come to our jobs in local government, ready to make significant and meaningful contributions through our work. Thanks to the library team for all they do for our community!
Sandy Irwin is library director at Durango Public Library.