I remember it like it was yesterday. The room was huge and it was so quiet. There were books everywhere. It was one of my favorite places to be and one of the things I enjoyed most about high school, being a librarian assistant to our school librarian. That is one of the best memories I have about high school.
I still love books and I still love the library.
When we think about community service workers, I’m not sure we usually think of our librarians, but that is really what they are as they provide a huge service to our communities.
If you frequent your local library, you probably consider your librarian your friend as well.
I don’t know about your librarians, but our librarians go through a lot of trouble to make sure their patrons get the book(s) they are looking for.
I spoke with our head librarian recently and she said that one of the best feelings in the world is to locate a hard-to-find book that someone has been searching for, arrange to get the book through our interlibrary system (a system in which libraries borrow from one another), and hand that person the much searched for book. She also said that she feels that working and serving in the community has really helped her meet many wonderful people and form great friendships with people.
Our library really is great and, honestly, has a very relaxing atmosphere. Although everyone is expected to respect others, when you walk in our library, you don’t feel as though, if you or your overactive toddler make any noise, that you will be shushed.
Our library is great but this article isn’t so much about our library and the librarians as it is about the kindness we patrons show our librarians.
I am ashamed to say that even though the library and our librarians hold a special place in my heart, I have not performed any random acts of kindness for our librarians. I intend to change that starting now!
I spoke with our librarians recently and asked them to share what types of random acts of kindness they have experienced from patrons using the library. They said that they usually receive homemade goodies and well-wishes throughout the holidays, which is greatly appreciated.
When I spoke with the head librarian, she shared with me what she considers one of the most meaningful acts of kindness ~ the spoken word. When she hears from others that they really enjoy coming to our library, it makes her feel like she is doing her job well. She recently heard from another library in our system that they have people tell them all the time what a great library we have.
Random Acts of Kindness
I asked a couple of people what random acts of kindness they have done for their librarian and this is what they shared:
- One person got her children’s school librarian a stack of post-it notes because funding didn’t get her what she needed. This librarian also had to have surgery and this same mama, along with a group of other moms, took over the librarian’s duties for a couple of weeks.
- Another person always takes their librarian a plate of cookies for Christmas.
- Another person knows that their librarian is a diabetic but loves fruit cake so she always takes her 1/2 bar thinly sliced.
Here are a few ideas to show random acts of kindness to your librarian:
- As I stated above, homemade goodies are usually always a good idea. This doesn’t have to be just food, it could be anything, a purse, hat, scarf, a bookmark, etc. Be creative!
- A simple thank you card, or a simple note, upon returning your books.
- Gift basket ~ This doesn’t have to be expensive.
- A gift card to go out to eat.
- An awesome mug with a package of hot chocolate, tea, or coffee that your librarian can snuggle up with while reading her/his favorite book.
- Chances are your librarian likes to read. Since you probably don’t know what books she already has, getting her a gift card to a bookstore would be a good idea.
- A couple of tickets to a play at your local Arts Center.
- A word kindly spoken ~ Gifts are great, homemade goodies are wonderful and much appreciated but you may find that one of the greatest acts of kindness you could do for your librarian is to simply take a few moments and tell them how much you appreciate what they do and how they care for our community.
If you take a little bit of time to get to know your librarian, I’m sure you can come up with all sorts of small and random acts of kindness that would fit her/him well.
When should you do these random acts of kindness? Well, randomly of course, but if you are looking for a special time other than the holidays here is an idea.
What about doing something special for your librarian during National Library Week?
National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (the oldest and largest library association in the world, founded in 1876), along with libraries across the country each April. This year, National Library Week is April 9th-15th and falls out like this:
April 10th – Monday – A report is released which includes the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books (or books that were banned at some point) of 2016.
April 11th – Tuesday – National Library Workers Day. This is a day that the library staff, users, administrators, and Friends groups are recognized for the valuable contributions made by all library workers. * This would be a great day to show a little love to your librarian *
April 12th – Wednesday – National Bookmobile Day recognizes the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality books available to their communities.