“Live in the Layers”

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,   
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,   

but because it never forgot what it could do.
-from “Famous” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Jules introduced me to this poem some time ago, and I’ve had it in my mind over the last few weeks as people have been in various ways honoring the work I’ve done at WPL. I felt weird about the attention at first, but then I relaxed about it. I am grateful that so many people have in enjoyed the work I’ve done as much as I have, because I love my work. Much of it is, as Nye says, nothing spectacular–buying books, managing budgets, answering people’s questions, reading to kids–but I’ve always pushed myself to do things a little better today than I did yesterday and tried to do the best job I can.

On Tuesday, there was a lot of fanfare for me in the morning and early afternoon, and I appreciated and enjoyed it so much. I spent the end of my day working in the Children’s Room, though, the way I always have, helping people find books. I wound up spending some time with a family I’d never seen before. It started with a mother asking me for help finding books for her 10-year-old daughter. After we spent some time going through the stacks talking books, and the girl had a few books in her hands to take home (we bonded over our shared love of Wendy Mass), the woman called over her sixth-grader, “Come over here! This woman knows what she’s talking about with these books!”

So I found that girl some books, too. I got her started on Meg Cabot.

And that was just as rewarding as anything else that happened that day. Because that’s what I do: I help people find books.

Missy wrote up a beautiful post about my last Stories in the Park, with a wonderful gallery of pictures that she and Amy took. (I think you can see those photos even if you aren’t on Facebook. If not, I’ll have to post them elsewhere.) What a gift these things are, as is this post my friend Val did over on her blog.

I have a few days off, sort of, before I start my new job on Tuesday. I’m going in to Henrietta to meet some of my new coworkers this afternoon and get a handle on a few things I have to do immediately, and I have some other things going on, but I’m moving at a more leisurely pace than I’ve been, enjoying these beautiful summer days to their fullest.

This is my favorite time of year.

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