Check It Out!: Stories show how much library means to those who use it

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 1:04 pm

At each library board meeting, we share stories of how Worthington Libraries has made a difference in the lives of our patrons.

Chuck Gibson

Check it Out! by Chuck Gibson appears regularly in the SNP/Worthington News.

Some of these stories are funny, while others are quite touching. They all highlight the value we place on personal interaction and going the extra mile to serve people.

What follows is a sampling of some of the stories we've collected in the last few months.

A little boy, estimated to be about 5 years old, recently approached children's librarian Michelle Hockman, who works at the Old Worthington Library, to ask if the library had any books about trucks or cars. Michelle helped him find a series of books called Stone Arch Readers. They opened the first book together, and the little boy smiled widely as he jumped up and down exclaiming, "I can read these! I can read!" After a double-fist pump in the air, he shared his discovery with his mother, who was equally overjoyed. Finding the right book for a child is what children's librarians do every day.

Something else we do every day is help patrons with technology. They always appreciate our help, but sometimes it's particularly meaningful. This was the case when a woman asked Brett McSorley, circulation aide at Worthington Park Library, to help her print some photos e-mailed to her by her son. The subject? Her first grandchild. When she saw the photos, she gave Brett a big hug and left the library with a huge smile.

During these difficult economic times, we've provided a number of Job Help programs in partnership with the other library systems in Franklin County. We take it one step further by also providing one-on-one resume help. Northwest Library Manager Jeff Regensburger helped to rework the resume of a patron, who later followed up with an e-mail stating, "You gave me just what I needed. I have so much more confidence now."

The library staff works to serve the community, and in the process develops real relationships with individuals. Patrons bake us cookies, send us postcards when they are on vacation, and make sure they say goodbye when they move out of our service district.

The library exists to provide information, but it's so much more than that because of people: the library staff and this wonderful Worthington community.

I thought you'd enjoy reading some of these "why we are here" moments, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.

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