by Stacey Embry,
Director,
Morgan County Library
Everything Counts
I will start with a little bit of an apology. Actually I don’t want to apologize, my feelings were hot and real last week. I will just start with saying I feel better this week. To be honest, I feel super excited today. Why? I am going on a trip tomorrow! I will be going to Eureka Springs with my cancer buddy, Lana, and my two daughters to visit my great friend, Timm.
It is almost 11 a.m. and I don’t have my Bookworm done because I am a little distracted. There really is nothing as good as a great sneeze and the last day of work before vacation. Sneezes clear the head and make you feel super alive for about 10 seconds afterward. The last day before vacation has me wanting to just sit and smile. So, if you saw me, on March 6 just grinning like a madman, know I was just happy, not crazy.
A few years back, before I was library director, I visited Eureka. They have a beautiful stone Carnegie Library. I had heard about LEGOs at the library, but this was the first place I had seen them in action. Their population is a little more than 2,000 and I immediately thought, “If they can do LEGOs, we can do LEGOs.” I love to visit and find libraries in my travels, not only for the nostalgia, but also as part of my development as a librarian. My trip to Eureka, all those years ago, led to current programming at our library.
“In order to be really good as a librarian, everything counts towards your work, every play you go see, every concert you hear, every trip you take, everything you read, everything you know. I don’t know of another occupation like that. The more you know, the better you’re going to be.” – Allen Smith
Did you get that? “Every trip you take.” Actually all of those “everys.” The only issue I have with this statement is that he knows no other occupation like this. I beg to differ, or maybe I would prefer to modify his quote. We should start with, “In order to be really good as a human…”, then we can just eliminate the sentence about the no other occupation. All of our “everys’ are moments of learning. Keep your eyes open, listen, take trips, read, learn. Being a human should be our first occupation and the more you know, the better you should be.
I went on a little trip last week to see my daughter’s new house. We stayed at our usual hotel, that still has the same employees but different owners and management. I love to “people watch.” My daughters are moving to a new neighborhood, a safer area, with less people watching opportunities. This is a good thing, but I did wonder if I would miss it. Nope. The hotel took care of that for me.
The hotel coffee machine was broken. I can hear the collective gasp from you coffee drinkers. As a non-coffee lover, I enjoyed watching the various reactions: anger, sorrow, disbelief. The breakfast attendee is an original worker; he was having a rough morning to say the least. I only watched two people be ugly about the coffee tragedy; one had just had a cold shower, not by choice, the other was new management. The cold shower lady did not know that breakfast had changed and the machine was something new. The new management didn’t appreciate that this young man who was running breakfast used to be “the king” and was currently learning a new setup. I knew these things because I kept my eyes open, I listened, and I had visited before. The more you know, the better you should be.
Learning doesn’t always have to be from educational experiences; reading a book might be a great way to learn about the “Whole 30” diet program, but learning to be a better human requires more. It requires observation and patience. It requires going outside your normal space. It requires “everys.” So I am off on a trip, I will be gone from the library for a few days, but I might come back with new ideas. I know with the company I am keeping I will come back a more learned and better human; it is my most important occupation.
Bookworm finished – 1:35 p.m.
For more information, visit the Morgan County Library at 600 N. Hunter, call 573-378-5319 or see the library’s Web site at morgancountylibrary.org. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.