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April/May/June, 2012
Volume 58, Number 2

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President’s Column


by Connie Gilman

A quote caught my eye when I read “How the World Sees Us” in the November/December 2011 issue of American Libraries Magazine. Author Monty Joynes wrote “And here is where I most respect the high office of the librarian. Above the restrictions of budgets and the frustrations of hierarchical administrations, the librarian has the possibility of changing lives. Like great teachers, great librarians meet needful individuals at the precious moment of choice. The right book at the right time is often a nexus to individual destiny. The great librarian listens, senses the need, and has the reading experience to recommend what is crucially appropriate to that reader.” I underscored “the librarian has the possibility of changing lives” thinking what a wonderful charge this is to librarians.

I soon found myself reflecting on my past experiences as a school, public, and special librarian. How had I possibly changed the lives of students, patrons, or my clients when my services involved:

How many budding Steve Jobs do we encourage by our work?

So often we go about our daily routine helping people, but not giving much thought to the impact we may have on others with the information we share, the book we recommend, or the smile or kind word we offer to a child, a teen, mother in a hurry, or elderly person who lives alone. We need to remember that as librarians we help people start the story of their lives. We provide possibilities as we open up new worlds for others. We help transform people’s lives, we give people hope, we give them a future, we help create possibilities and we help people succeed.

I know I am sharing possibilities in my daily encounters, are you? VL

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