About two months ago, I walked into Queenstown Library at 8.30am and worked my last day as a Children’s Librarian. A place I had grown to love deeply, a sort of home filled with a version of family.
In my time working at this library I realised that libraries are more than I ever knew.
They are more than you will ever know unless you are apart of one or many. Even then they are more than we see and can even conceive.
Libraries are what we know and love.
But Libraries are all that we don’t know, all that we don’t see.
They are the endless shelves of books, stacked and stocked by order and design that we love to get lost in.
They are also the volunteer who pops in everyday to shelve books and have a cup of tea because he has nowhere else to go.
Those books running seamlessly along each shelf is the time and effort of the many librarians that care, whom you may never meet.
Libraries are the classes and workshops that you show up to and your children enjoy.
Members of the community learning a new language at free class with a librarian.
Children at an after-school class learning how to play with others and what it is to share.
New families to town, who come in need of new friends, a wider family and support network.
Libraries are the workings of a few enjoyed by many.
They are the grind that you don’t see.
The effort that is put into creating a seed library and the librarian’s husband who makes the library planter.
The time and care that is put into repainting the children’s area. The connections made within the community and donations humbly offered for the cause.
Libraries are a wonderland of people’s imaginations, experiences and life stories.
They are also a place where people can begin to write their own story.
A place where an older man can learn how to write a CV and begin a new chapter of his life.
Libraries are endless choice of books, magazines, DVD’s. Knowledge and exploration written down and printed.
They are also letting a lost traveler use the phone to try and find his passport.
Opening early to let an elderly lady sit in the warm.
Libraries are the genuine affection that goes into providing the community what it is asking for and what it needs.
So that when you sit in that comfy chair and grab a book, you feel at home, although you may be a million miles away from yours.
Libraries are the hours spent researching and asking, building relationships and connections.
They are librarians themselves.
Secret ninjas, or fairy godmothers.
Their work going unseen and unnoticed by many but their impact going far beyond what we can ever hope to prove.
It is not only a librarians job to order books and make a library look pretty.
It is a librarians job to create a space, space where all are welcome and no one feels unsafe.
Librarians are those who say hello when no one else has.
They recognize people when they walk in and they care.
They watch a mother go through pregnancy and suggest books when asked. They journey with the family as they bring the baby to the library for their first book.
Then they issue that same child there very own library card and watch them choose and read their own books.
Libraries and Librarians are not just books.
Books are what we know and what we love.
Libraries are what some of us know and love.
But just incase the though had ever crossed your mind, just incase you ever wondered why you love the library.
Why you are always drawn there even when you don’t feel like reading, or why when you visited that one time just because you had to, you didn’t want to leave.
It’s because the library loves you.
When society may be turning it’s back on you, when your family may not be accepting you, when you may not be loving you, go to the library.
They got you!