Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 26, 2014

At the Library

By Stephanie Barnes | May 06, 2013

The worst thing about leaving is watching everything I’ve accomplished stay behind while I move forward. I remember visiting the Washington Public Library with my sister and father when it was located on Main Street and I was just tall enough to see over the circulation desk. Each visit I would search for the Clifford and Arthur books, check to see if America was still on the big globe sitting in the window, attend story time and summer reading, and borrow another VHS tape to watch at home. Soon enough I became more interested in the chapter books of the bigger kids' room and instead of attending summer reading, I was the one helping with summer reading. At the same time my sister, Marykaye, became a page at the library. It wasn’t until then that I really started to get involved with the library.

I became familiar with the lovely librarians and soon became known as “Little Marykaye” who was kind enough to bring her big sister some dinner for work. I wanted to be a part of the library too, just like my big sister, but I wasn’t old enough to have a job yet. Instead I settled for being on the Teen Advisory Board to help select new material, choose furniture for the teen room in the brand new library, and help with library teen events. I met new friends, learned how to cooperate in a group and learned how to talk in front of a big crowd. Up to this day, I am still a part of the Teen Advisory Board and have been for the past six years.

It wasn’t until last year, January 2012, that I was finally able to get a job at the library. I was excited because it was an environment that I would be comfortable with because I knew the staff. When I first started, they told me that I would be saying the alphabet in my head every day while shelving books. But what they didn’t tell me is that I would be saying it for months after, even when I wasn’t working at the library. Besides re-learning the alphabet, I learned how to use the Dewey Decimal system, organize, alphabetize, assist patrons while still maintaining my library duties, answer questions and phone calls, and become more sociable. A library is an excellent first job for a student to have.

A library teaches the basic skills needed for the work field. I am happy to list the library as my first job. It’s a place where I met a wonderful group of people and all the skills that come with it. I came to the library as a shy little girl and will leave a knowledgeable young lady. My name is Stephanie Barnes and I am a page at the Washington Public Library.

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