First, let me apologize for being MIA on this blog for the last week or so. I’ve been moving from my lovely apartment in Brooklyn, to a new place (smaller, more expensive- so it goes in New York) in Harlem. At the moment, Time Warner has still not come to install our Internet connection, so I’ve been dividing my time between sitting on my windowsill trying to steal my unknowing neighbors wireless and making the trek down to the 125th Street Library. (On a sidenote- if you live in the NYC area and haven’t visited the 125th Street Branch, do so! It’s a big, beautiful old building with wide stairs and lovely dark wood paneling. The children’s room is gigantic and they have a great collection.)
Anyhoo, this recent move was precipitated by my new job. After much thought, some hand wringing, a few tears, some butterflies in my stomach, many long talks with my mentors, and several amazing conversations with my new staff members, I will be joining the Children’s Department of the Darien Library in Connecticut.
I’ve been with my current library system for a little over four years. I’ve been lucky to have worked with some of the most creative, interesting, and passionate people in libraryland. The hardest part of leaving, of course, is saying goodbye to the kids. Thankfully, I’m still going to be living in Manhattan, so I’ll be stopping by my old branch often. (sniffle, sniffle)
But here’s the exciting part- I’m going to be on the Darien team! If you don’t know about the Darien Library, I encourage you to check out their website. They are a small, one branch library that is doing some pretty exciting stuff. (Ex: Check out their new catalog– you can add reviews and tags.) But what most attracted me to Darien was their philosophy of customer service. More than simply “good” or even “great” customer service, the Darien Library team strives to provide “EXTREME CUSTOMER SERVICE.” This extends from staff-to-patron interactions, to the Library’s role in the wider community, to the services provided on the website.
It will definitely be a change for me- going from a large, urban environment to a much smaller suburban town. But kids are kids- no matter where they are. There are strong readers, reluctant readers, and ‘tweens with ‘tude everywhere. I’m hoping to bring a bit of my NYC outlook to the ‘burbs and to also learn from a staff and a community of users who know each others’ names and say “Hi” in the grocery store.
So, if you happen to live or work in the East Harlem area, stop by the local library- I’ll be a new user! And if you live or work near Darien, CT- stop into the library- I’ll be one of the new children’s librarians!