Our staff are what keep our library running smoothly. Take a peek behind the scenes at the wide variety of jobs at the library with this series highlighting a day in the life of different employees.
Patron Services Specialist Tait says the patrons he interacts with are his favorite part of the job.
“I love connecting with people. The library welcomes people from so many places and circumstances and offers them help without any strings attached. Being able to engage openly with people without the expectation that they have to purchase something or do anything to be worthy of our resources – I find that deeply satisfying,” he said. “I learn a great deal from the people I meet and am grateful for the small part I get to play in their lives.
“I also appreciate and admire my coworkers. I am surrounded by skilled, compassionate people and they make me a better worker and person.”
He has worked at the library for just over a year and primarily works at the Downtown Library.
Patron Services Specialists focus on assisting patrons in any way they can.
“We spend a lot of time helping people in ways that don’t involve books. We help people find housing, jobs, and professional development opportunities,” Tait said. “We troubleshoot cellphones and provide movie recommendations. We do a lot of community problem solving that doesn’t fit into many people’s idea of what the library does.”
He said the library is not the hushed, staid place that people may picture.
“Most people think of the Library as a quiet, empty building staffed with people who like to read. Our library is a dynamic, growing organism that is constantly changing to fit the needs of its community,” he said. “While most of our staff does like to read, we have a diverse array of expertises beyond that; we are gardeners, writers, illustrators, and public speakers.
“We are instructors and travel experts, craftspeople and musicians. We are a uniquely skilled workforce that is dedicated to bettering our community, and we have even more to offer than knowledge about books.”