February 17, 2011
Most all of us who work at the library probably grew up using and loving the library. We generally tend, therefore, to think that every patron sees the library as we do (of course, all these "we" references are my own views projected onto the mass of MCPL staffers). Recently, I had a chance to re-examine my attitude about our library. A woman with three small children came into the Claycomo Branch to get a new card. When we had finished the registration process, I explained the two-book rule for new cardholders, and she turned to her children and told them they could pick out two books. When they brought the books to the desk for checkout, the mom told her three-year-old daughter that they would need to keep track of the due date so they could bring the books back on time. The toddler looked at her mom with big, bright eyes and asked, "You mean we get to take them home?" This incredible blessing that is the public library is an on-going reminder of how much we, as a culture, value literature and learning, and how easily we take for granted those facets of our collective goals that serve anyone who chooses to take advantage of a service that is available to all of us. Libraries in general and MCPL in particular remind us every day of the privileges afforded to citizens of the United States. Watch the faces of the children. Listen to their voices. They give us that fresh perspective that we lose sometimes in the crush of modern life.