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Photo Credit: Ken Kiser

In the course of its three-year inception, my library continues to through rapid staffing changes. We have seen a termination, two ladies received job offers closer to their place of residences, three resignations due to personal reasons, a transfer to another library branch, the demise of a lady who succumbed to the ravages of cancer of the breast, and two retirees. Whew! It is enough to cause my head to ache. What began as a 13 person organization has dwindled to a nine person operation.

The library is fraught with peculiar situations. Foremost it being a joint library, one that serves as the public and the high school. Essentially we are a public library on a high school campus. Security and policies reflect this unusual predicament. At last glance, we are currently one of four joint libraries in the state.

To add to the confusion the town is in midst of growing pains. When my library was first built, patrons inquired what will happen to the original 100-year-old library. Was it going to shutter its doors? We reassured them it will remain open. “Two libraries?! In one town?! Inconceivable!!” was the general bewildered response. Some patrons were thrilled they did not need to travel “all the way across town” for services. In reality we are merely ten minutes away from the original branch.

As it happens during these times of recession, rural communities, especial those serving predominately minority populations, staffing and reorganizing the library became a concern. Many, but certainly not all, masters-degree requiring position were given to individuals who lived an hour away in the bigger metropolis, myself included. The branch manager toiled at both libraries. The adult librarian was the defacto manager on days when the actual manager was working at the other branch. At one point the young adult/school librarian was the stand-in manager, adult librarian, and children’s librarian in addition to her actual job! She referred to herself during those months as “the unholy trinity.” They hired a city resident as the children’s librarian. The new young adult/school librarian also resides in town. The defacto manager and adult librarian served both libraries and lived an hour away. Friday was her final day.

Which brings us to me. I am the new interim adult librarian! My responsiblities are exponentially augmented. I shall be ordering collections for both libraries, finish hosting the remaining book clubs, and planning for the adult summer reading program. All this on top of my library assistant, young adult/school librarian assistant, and school liaison duties. While there shall be no increase in pay nor any corner office, I cannot begin to express how absolutely thrilled I am by this new development! I get to order from vendors! I can work with the budget! I am expected to program! I feel faint with excitement. I am finally taking on the responsibilities I longed for. I am truly apprenticig in my career now. How positively delightful!!!