What it all comes down to

I’m a fan of boiling everything down to its basic element, and today I’ve got this idea in my head that what libraries are all about is people.

Two things brought on this idea:

  • The local high school had a half day today.  What did a group of around 15 students chose to do?  They came to the library, used the computers, and hung out for over an hour.
  • A teen that I met at a program 1 year ago finally made it into my library today.  When she recognized me, she shouted “HEY, I REMEMBER YOU!” and she came over to talk to me.  There was a smile on her face the whole time.

Do I know if this is the correct answer?  I’m honestly not sure that there is even an answer.  But I know that without people we’ve got nothing.

What I think I’m getting to saying is: be nice to the people that use your library.  They’ll keep coming back.  They’ll learn to trust you.  They’ll have some faith in you.  With that, you have everything.


  1. Rock on, Justin. \,,/

    its amazing how something so simple (being nice) can go such a long way… and something so frequently forgotten. customer loyalty and community engagement starts with hello.

  2. Justin, your story reminds me of Maya Angelou’s quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If we make people feel good, we’re golden. If we make them feel bad, we’re toast!

  3. I’m a brand new high school librarian. What I lack in knowledge and experience, I am making up for in service. My goal is to make the library (ahem, “media center”) a warm, fuzzy, busy place. The kids love it. My library is packed every morning and during both of our lunches. I completely agree with your “basic ideas!” Rad indeed. 🙂

  4. Sometimes the answers really do lie in the simplest of observations.

    Being nice is not always easy in a public library. There are many days when we are frazzled and grumpy, but it is essential to dig deep and find that smile and a way to make everyone feel welcome and valued.

    I always love it when I see our 3rd floor packed on early dismissal days with kids hanging out.

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