I love watching the seasons change at the library.  

As I write this, the dogwood tree outside of the children’s patio is in full bloom, and the AARP volunteers are looking forward to the last day of the tax season tomorrow. Teri, Becky, Julie, and Larissa are working feverishly to prepare for this year’s summer reading program, sure to be the best one ever (until next year, anyway). Ashley just put up the poetry month and AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) heritage month displays, and Karen is brainstorming for the upcoming display of books about pets.  

Of course, the weather isn’t the only thing that changes at the library. I’ve only been working here for a couple of months, but I’ve been a patron of the O’Fallon Public Library for more than twenty years. Just the other day, I was shelving books and came across one by my favorite author, Terry Pratchett. 

He became my favorite author when I picked that exact book up off of the “New” shelf at the library. I flipped open the inside cover to see when we acquired the book – October 2001. In the decades since, I’ve read everything Pratchett has ever written, and I’ve been cheered and comforted and moved to laughter and tears countless times. All because I picked a single book off of a library shelf.  

Children’s librarians are particularly well-placed to observe the changing seasons of library life – the kids who move from Book Babies to Toddler Tales to 1000 Books before Kindergarten – and before you know it they’re reading everything they can get their hands on and moving on to the YA sections upstairs.  

This is a space for everyone. We smile at the babies, help kids choose just the RIGHT book about sharks, direct teens to The Hub, help people write their first resume or get a tax appointment or sign up for our Wednesday night yoga classes. And when we’re lucky, we get to help a patron with all of those things over the course of the years.  

The library changes. We order new books and weed out the old; move chairs around; add programs and people and places (keep an eye out for the new children’s outdoor space!). But the library itself is more than any individual change. At its best, the library is the heart of its community, no matter what season of life you’re in.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: