In Jeffrey Kluger’s article, “How telling stories makes us human,” he writes: “Storytelling is a powerful means of fostering social cooperation ... and it pays valuable dividends to the storytellers themselves, improving their chances of ... receiving community support.” With that in mind, I will share some snapshots of life at Pine River Library.
There are several people waiting outside the library when I arrive in the morning. I open the door early because it’s drizzling. A fifth grader with his dad needs to pick up a book on hold. His father is concerned about brain drain during the summer and wants his son to stay on top of his reading.The phone is ringing in my office. The caller needs to get a document notarized because of a complication with his passport. I inform him we can notarize the document, and as an official passport agency, we can also help him complete his application. I walk through the library and see that the computer section is already a third occupied; our adult section has folks reading the morning newspapers and using the copier/scanner; our children’s section is jammed with toddlers singing and dancing in our “Groove and Grow” program; and our media lab is occupied with someone using our digitization services.A grateful patron, who just started a new job, thanks the staff member who helped to create her professional resume. A mom shares with our children’s librarian that the library has become her support system. She is headed out to our grant-funded park with some of the other moms to give the children an opportunity to exercise their bodies after exercising their minds inside. In another program – Astronaut Training – a little boy talks about how awesome he thinks it is that he is able to train just like the real astronauts do right here at the library. We are using NASA’s www.trainlikeanastronaut.org Mission X initiative during our space-themed summer program.A woman comes in to use our media lab. She has a camcorder videotape that was filmed long ago at her wedding. A staff member finds a camcorder that will play the tape and then helps her digitize it with our equipment. At the end of the process, the staff member finds her crying in the lab. The woman shares that the never-seen video contains multiple personal messages to her and her husband from guests at the wedding.These are a few snapshots from our daily album of stories showing how we make a difference in the life of our community. We respond to the needs of our community. Not everything we do is for everyone, but we do have something for everybody. Come and create your own library story at Pine River Library.
Shelley Walchak is director of Pine River Library.