My first job was as a page at the Hennepin County Library. The less formal name was “shelver” lest you think I was paid to be a part of a book. I learned a great deal about books by putting them back on the shelf. I learned even more by working at the front desk in a small branch library, talking to patrons, discussing books, and learning how to deal calmly with irate people. A number of famous people visited the library: there are stories to tell. I received a call-back from the Library and Bridgeman’s (an ice cream parlour) on the same day when I was 16. I will forever be grateful that I took that job at the library. That’s a path I’m glad I’ve walked.
Have I mentioned how grateful I am for the school librarians who give their hearts, minds, creativity, and problem-solving prowess to the students in their schools? Last night we celebrated the years of librarianship Randy Klauk has provided to the elementary school students in one of the Minneapolis suburbs. From the way their books are shelved, to reading out loud dramatically, to the children who have been turned into lifelong readers, to his dedication to bringing authors in to share their work with his kids … Randy cares deeply. As he retires, we let him know how thankful we are. To all of the school librarians out there who lead children to the love of books, we admire you!