June 30, 2022
People take all kinds of part-time jobs to make ends meet. Most of the time, such jobs are just a means to an end. They pay for rent, put food on the table, or help pay for college. How could I have known that a simple, two-page job application that I filled out on a cold day in 1988 would change my life forever and for better? Not only did it lead to a job that allowed me to buy groceries and to complete my college degree, but it introduced me to my career and my life’s work. It seems so unlikely and serendipitous, but that’s exactly what happened.
The Library where I started my career is quite different from the Library from which I’m retiring. To start with, there are seven branches that exist today that did not exist in 1988. The changes between the Library then and the Library now are too numerous to count. What makes me proud is that the Library as an institution stayed relevant by continuing to provide solutions addressing the wants and needs of the community we serve.
As I look back on my 34 years here, it occurs to me that all I did is report to work and do the best job I knew how. Once I was here, I found so many incredible and talented people doing the exact same thing. The people that work at this Library believe in the mission of all libraries—to provide unfettered access to information and to support your freedom to read and your freedom of inquiry. Helping you be the best person you can be through a library-appropriate response is why I got out of bed every morning for all those years, and I know it will be the same for those who will continue to work here after I leave.
One of the dirty secrets in “library land” is that librarians really do not “read all day.” Frequently, what we do read is work-related, like regulations, laws, contracts, management books, and the like. I am really looking forward to using the Library the way you do! I look forward to borrowing books to read for fun and attending programs only because the subject interests me. I look forward to seeing you at the Library as “Citizen Potter” who is simply a fellow Library customer.
I hope only the best for you and thank you for using your Library.
Steven V. Potter
MCPL Director and CEO
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