White Single Librarian seeks Connection
Whatever that story is, no matter how big or small, those stories that librarians tell me have one thing in common: They are about people. There is always a conversation. There is always a point when the librarian and member shared a triumph and the world, even if just for a moment, or just in a miniscule way, became a better place. True and successful facilitation is when a librarian helps a member find his or her own story (Lankes, 81).
Perhaps my world is one where I live on a rainbow, eat nothing but spoonfuls of nutella, and my best friends are singing woodland creatures, but the idealist in me really identifies with this portion of The Atlas. Let’s face it, none of us got into this profession because we have a burning desire to shelve books or fix printer jams. It’s those connections we yearn for.
I’ll get the story-sharing started, but I’d like it to keep going in the comments.
A hand-written letter from an inmate in Minnesota. Responding to it was the first assignment I was given at the public library in Connecticut I worked at. The writer explained that he didn’t have access to a computer and was looking for the addresses for several relatives, old friends, and pen-pal prayer groups. Some of the names were misspelled, he apologized. The request was simple; he asked if I could only try and find some of the people on his list and write him back.
I spent an afternoon pouring over public records seeing if I could help the man in Minnesota. I found a few and wrote him a simple response. I hope he found my letter a comfort, knowing someone wanted to help him. His letter, and the seemingly tedious task of searching for people, was an exceptional comfort to me. I don’t know this man, and probably never will, but he saw the library as a place that wouldn’t turn him away. A place that was willing to engage in his conversation. I will forever be grateful for that short time our stories came together.
So what’s your story? What’s that memory you keep tucked in a pocket, taken out when you need to feel a little brighter? Let’s make people puke unicorns and cupcakes when they read this.