Tuesday, April 15, 2008

National Library Week: Library Workers Day

Since 2003, the Tuesday of National Library Week has been used to recognize the contributions of library workers. Good idea!

While we depend on a lot of community support, volunteers, and donations, the backbone of what we do is provided by our library staff. Here at the Appleton Public Library, we have 114 people on the payroll -- most of them part-time and non-benefited.

Sure, it's a job and they're working for the money. But we also know that they're working for the rightful pride in their accomplishments, in what the library does. Many could be making more money working elsewhere: the job market says libraries don't pay as well as other sectors of the economy.

But they do a heck of a job for our community and our patrons. All the truisms about the value of libraries, that we:

  • change lives
  • build communities
  • promote economic development
  • build family literacy
  • connect people to ideas
  • enable lifelong learning
are true because library workers make them happen. We have an amazing team here, and it takes the whole team, every person, every position, to make it happen. I'm profoundly grateful to be part of such a team and to work with such people.

So we'll put a "National Library Workers Day" poster in the front door, and we'll hand out small acknowledgments to the staff. But I hope some of our users take time to say thanks to any of our workers: they all deserve it -- and spoken or unspoken, I believe the appreciation is there.

To all my co-workers: thank you.

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