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THE LIBRARY LOOKOUT: So much to be thankful for

November is always a month of reflection for me when the leaves are changing and the year is wrapping up.

Sara Hahn

This year, with so many changes and obstacles that we’ve all faced, your local library family wanted to share with you why we’re so thankful to be able to serve you, our public, and what we’re most thankful for by serving in our roles.

Public Services Librarian Joyce Morgan shared: “When author Amy Tan was 8 years old, she described library books as ‘opening a little room in her mind.’ During the isolation of COVID-19, we hope the library’s collections, whether in print or electronic, are helping to keep our minds healthy through the reading of adventures, both true and imagined outside our daily routines.”

While being able to escape to other places through reading has helped us tremendously this year, the fact that our patrons have continued to support the local library during this time has proven to us all that you value the library institution as much as we do.

Treva Allmon, Lisa Davis, Karen Hartsell and Alice Carlis, our library branch managers, expressed that “we are thankful for patrons who continue to support us and come enjoy library services at our branches. Even while we have had to be flexible with changes in services and hours, our patrons have been very understanding and flexible with us. You’re the heart of the library!”

Pamela Arey, library assistant II, shared a similar statement of thankfulness, expressing that “it’s great to have a job where you are able to meet so many wonderful people.”

Public Services Associate Ashley Flair expressed that: “We are terrifically grateful for and deeply indebted to our Friends of the Library! These individuals are strictly volunteers who donate their shared talents, time and money to ensure that our libraries have the desired resources to foster literacy and learning throughout Stanly County. They truly are ‘the wind beneath [our] wings!’ ”

Are you interested in learning more about becoming a Friends member? Contact the group at stanlylibraryfriends@gmail.com.

Speaking of support systems, Library Processing Specialist Barbara Ledbetter stated that “I am thankful for my coworkers. They are a caring and supportive bunch,” while Glenda Austin, library assistant II, expressed in similar sentiments that “I am thankful for coworkers who are family.”

What we’ve seen through this time of change and challenge in our community is that when we combine the library staff with the patrons we cheerfully serve, the library continues to be a community cornerstone.

Library Director Melanie Holles expressed her gratitude for this partnership by stating, “I am thankful for the library staff who have worked so hard and selflessly to be open and serve the public when I know they are afraid of COVID and would rather be safe at home.”

Anna Harkey, library processing specialist, encompassed the spirit of the library in expressing that as a whole, “I’m thankful that libraries are the great equalizer. Libraries provide free knowledge, computer aide, wifi and study space. We’re the community chest of resources that means that, even if you have no money, you can learn and communicate with the best of them. Even if you don’t speak the same language. By providing that, we provide the social welfare, the literacy, the job-seeking, the you-name-it that means that all of the population has a chance to become equals.”

During this season of thankfulness, we certainly count all of you in our reasons to be thankful, and we are honored that the library is a source of your thankfulness, too. May the love of literacy and the strength of our community continue to tie us together.

Currently Reading: “The Breakdown” by B.A. Paris

Picture Book Highlight: “Tacky and the Haunted Igloo” by Helen Lester

Sara Hahn is the Children and Youth Services Librarian of the Stanly County Public Library in Albemarle. You can reach her at shahn@stanlycountylibrary.org or the Albemarle Library at 704-986-3758.