Archive for September, 2013

The Library on Route 66

ImageImageThe advertisement appeared in the newspaper a few months ago for a Job Help Instructor at our local library. Well, I didn’t know what a Job Help Instructor would do, but teaching is something I know about, so I applied. I didn’t really expect to get the job, but if there was anywhere in Holbrook I would enjoy working, I knew it was the library.

Ours is not an enormous library. It’s not the best one I’ve ever been in, I suppose. But it’s so much, much better than I would have expected for a town of 5,000 people that it delights me whenever I step inside the doors. I’ve always loved the staff there, who go out of their way to be pleasant and will do anything they can for their clients. The library director  (shown above) is talented, creative, and amazingly competent. What she manages to do on our shoestring budget should be studied by the federal government as a model for careful management!

Anyway, I got the job. Turns out that no one else bothered to apply, so I’ve spent the last few months learning to be a job help instructor. What that means is, I’m stationed in the library’s computer lab to assist clients who don’t have computers at home, or don’t know how to do things like write resumes, compose cover letters, apply for jobs on-line, etc. My work is strictly one-on-one for these tasks, and I enjoy it enormously. I love the library atmosphere, and my colleagues are every bit as much fun to work with as I expected. Lots of students come to the lab, too, which allows me to be in contact with young people again, something which a former teacher really misses.

Of course, there is a down side. To say that my technological competence is “limited” would be to flatter myself. But I’m the person on hand in the lab, so when people have problems with technology, I’m the one who gets the questions. I’m much more competent now than I was a few months ago, and I expect to be even better by the time my one-year, grant funded job is finished next summer.  When it is slow in the lab, I get to work at the circulation desk, where–I’ll just be honest here–I’m mostly useless. But my co-workers are cheerful about correcting my mistakes and explaining procedures over and over.  Even though I’m relegated to handling the simplest tasks, I love greeting people who come in and spotting new books I can’t wait to read. 

 I’ve retired a couple of times already from various teaching jobs. I may never have another actual paid position again when this one ends. But if so, what a blessing it is to finish up my working career at the Library on Route 66! Be sure to come in and see us if you’re ever in Holbrook.