Library Lines

The Pocahontas Times generously provides this space each week for me to talk about our library system. I cover upcoming events, I review books or audio books, I muse about library issues, and I try to inform readers about how our libraries work. I say “I” but on occasion other staff members or friends of the library contribute, especially when they have an event they want people to hear about.

In addition to being (hopefully) informative and entertaining, my secret goal is to keep people thinking about our libraries. We are here for you: when you need information, when you want the newest bestseller or hit movie, when you have exhausted all other resources—we are here.

I want to share an excerpt from an email I received a few weeks ago. People do contact me quite a bit, either by phone or by email. I’m never excited about complaints, but I need to know what’s going on and how people feel. I like suggestions to improve our services, but I do feel bad because I can’t possibly implement every suggestion I receive. And, of course, I love compliments! Hearing good, complimentary stories about our libraries and staff from people is just heartwarming.

Anyway, back to this email. It’s from Derek Vance, who lives in Poca. He writes:

“Last Thursday, the scenic route I was driving from Charleston to Beth-esda, Maryland, with a final destination of Providence, Rhode Island, took me through Marlinton. I’ve been to the town several times in my years, but only twice in my adulthood, and thus am not familiar enough to know all of the highways converging in Marlinton. To make a long story short(er), I made it into Marlinton quite easily, but wasn’t sure how to continue on my trip. My phone wouldn’t load a map, and I had left my written directions in Charleston. After driving around the town for quite some time, I, quite gladly, stumbled upon the library. I was only in your facility for a few moments, but that time made my traveling easier and less stressful. The staff was helpful, too! Anyway, I too work for a nonprofit organization, and I recognize that sometimes our work goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Please know that your library provided me with needed assistance, and for that, I am grateful. Libraries provide a needed public service. I hope I never see the day where society comes to agree that libraries are unnecessary for the community and unworthy of our collective support. We must protect the institution. I am happy to know that a library was still there when I needed it, and I hope that this is always the case.”

I couldn’t agree with Mr. Vance more.

Libraries provide so much, and they are most worthy of our support. So while this compliment rightfully belongs to Pam, Connie and Paula, any one of whom probably helped this gentleman that day, you could say that it also belongs to all of you, for without your support, we wouldn’t have such a nice library with such great staff. And while this particular compliment is directed at McClintic Libra- ry, each community in the county that supports its local library should be complimented.

We sincerely appreciate your patronage and your support.

We couldn’t do it without all of you, Pocahontas County.

So…thank you!

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