- From the Director's Chair -
There's perhaps no better time for reflection than National Library Week.
Reflection on what? Well, a lot of things really.
On librarianship, our collection, our patrons, our purpose, our community, our impact, and of course, the fact that there's less than 100 days to an election with a referendum that means the difference between services for more of Millstadt than ever before and securing a grant that means a new library and community space by Summer 2023.
Less than 100 days.
That's not many more deep breaths, sleepless nights, or days gone by in a flash.
This April will mark 5 years of my being at the Millstadt Library and I can tell you, I never saw building a library, trying to raise millions of dollars, and passing a referendum in my future here. In fact, these last 5 years have probably been the toughest of my life, both professionally and personally.
Since we were awarded the $1.2 million grant in September, it's been a whirlwind of a ride. Constantly, we've been fundraising, researching and writing grants, sending letters. Additionally, we've been transitioning from a Village to a District library, which changes how we run things legally. Oh, and we still have to operate the library and as you may have noticed, we haven't slowed down on trying to come up with new and exciting programs.
I'll be honest, there have been days it has been rough. The optimism seems to run out and the steam just evaporates. There just seems to be no energy to make it to that next meeting and no drive to meet that next deadline. Your teams get disheartened too. The weight of the community just feels as if it's on your shoulders. Because the reason we're building a new library is for our community - it's for you.
But then, a patron comes in and thanks you for your work. And another patron thanks you for doing what you do. And a patron thanks your staff for what they do. People in the community that you've never seen come in the library tell you how nice the library has been doing and thank you for the efforts. Community members donate money, even sometimes just a few cents, because they know it all adds up. Other organization members donate their precious time into the library because they believe in what you're doing. A patron donates money for a ticket to a murder mystery function because of all the nice things you do for them. Or you receive a really nice letter in the mail because the library and the library staff are in the prayers of a local church.
It's THOSE things that make everything worth it. It's THOSE things that give us the energy to do all of the things we need to again.
You see, everything we do at the library is a team effort. It's the teamwork of the director and the librarians. The staff and the board. The internal groups and the volunteer groups. And then it's all of those mixed with the patrons and then our community as a whole.
With less than 100 days left to secure a new library, I know that at the end of this, I'll be able to say that I've done everything in my power to make it happen. I know a lot of other people who can say the same as well.
I hope that this National Library Week that you can find the time dig a little deeper inside yourself and ask the same question.
Because with all of the things we've been through the last few years - the pandemic and now all of the war issues - there's so much we don't have control over. There's so much that we can't make an impact in.
But we can make an impact in our community.
THANK YOU all of our patrons and -
- Cinda, Elizabeth, Penny, Helen, Marilyn, Mary, Sue
- Bob, Brenda, Janice, Jenny, Norm, Patti, Traci
- Ashley, Bryan, Christine, Dawn, Heather, Kim, Mark, Otto, Patty, Phyllis, Rene
- Abby, Justin, Jennifer, Joyce, Mary and so, so many more - you've all made my world a little bigger and so much brighter.
Happy National Library Week! - Nichole L.
"National Library Week (April 3 - 9, 2022) is a time to celebrate our nation's libraries, library workers' contributions and promote library use and support.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and observed in libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.
In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee's goals were ambitious. They ranged from "encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time" to "improving incomes and health" and "developing strong and happy family life." With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme "Wake Up and Read!""