Each month we will take the opportunity to introduce you to a Library employee. This month, Youth Services Director Teri Rankin shares a bit about her background and interests.
I started working at the library in 1989, when we were still in the old bank building (now the O’Fallon Historical Society.) We used a card catalog to locate books and library cards had a metal plate that was like a stencil to print the borrower’s name on each book card. That seems like a long time ago! I don’t miss the card catalog, but I do miss the small-town atmosphere I remember from that time.
When I was a kid my Mom didn’t like to drive into the city (Colorado Springs) to go to the library, so we waited in the grocery store parking lot for the book mobile. I loved boarding what seemed like a camper full of books. Years later I learned about pack-horse librarians who rode on horseback to bring books, magazines and catalogs to people living in remote areas of Kentucky. I will always love how determined librarians are to get people to read!
I have been a librarian since 2005. I got my Master of Library and Information Science degree online from the University of Illinois. I enjoyed being in a “virtual” classroom with people from all over the world and for some people, class was in the middle of the night. I was hired as the Youth Services Librarian right after I graduated, and I have been in the same department ever since.
One of the most interesting jobs I have had is making Appalachian instruments called dulcimers. I worked in Manitou Springs, Colorado at a little Mom and Pop business. Sometimes the owners would close the store and we would have a picnic or go out to a late breakfast. They were never very financially successful, but they were fun people to work for.
I have two daughters and four grandchildren. They have given me gray hairs and lots to laugh about. I love being with family and listening to old stories about living through the Great Depression or the Dust Bowl Days in eastern Colorado. They made it seem exciting, but I know they lived through many lean years. There is nothing like the power of a story to remind you of the important things in life.