This one little girl who I got a new library card for. When we were done she went back to her mom and jumped up and down and SQUEALED. After she picked out books she brought them to me to see what she had chosen. She actually got books for her whole family, younger brother, and mom as well as herself. We both agreed that was pretty grown up of her.
“You can come here to a whole new world of learning and reading of new materials. On any given day you can come and have your questions answer (sic). Customer Services is very helpful with the resources they provide for you. They give you the tool to use. The Queens Residents depend on their library day in & day out for support”
A friend and I started a pre-school literacy program 2 years ago. Our attendance of 2-4 year olds runs between 20 & 25 each Thursday. We do theme- based projects. This year we did the alphabet. A typical session includes reading 2 books on the “letter of the day”, an arts & crafts project, followed by a play session. We use a combination of library materials and supplies that we provide. Scavenger hunts, rhythm bands & puppets are all part of our repertoire.
The library staff is enthusiastic in supporting the program & have come to know the children & their families by visiting during the session, making sure the area we use is well maintained, & always letting us know how glad they are to have us. The Kings Bay Branch of the BPL is vital to our community. I’m always struck by how people come before opening time and wait outside for our big red doors to open. They range from kids coming after school to senior citizens arriving for bridge lessons. This branch strives to meet the diverse needs of the area.
I work at the Spuyten Duyvil library in the Bronx. An elderly gentleman who had worked for many years as a seasonal employee at the Bronx Botanical Gardens was told he had to apply online. He had no computer skills. I helped him create an email and fill out an application. I could tell by the way he talked about working at BBG that it kept him going both financially and socially. It felt good helping him, although the task took 30 minutes. This was a couple years ago. I never saw him again. Perhaps I will go to the BBG this summer to see if he is still there.
A few years ago, a patron recently diagnosed with cancer came to the library looking for information on the cancer she was diagnosed with, as well as for innovative treatments. I showed her a couple of databases and printed out a few related articles. She and her husband returned often, but not so much for information, as much as for support and someone to talk with. She became very special to me, as I did to her. One day she stopped coming but the frequent visits we’d had for a couple of years were always special to me and I loved making time for her regardless of how busy I might be. I never knew what happened to her because her husband also stopped coming. Although I suspect that the cancer finally took over, I’d like to think that she beat it and moved back to her home country. I may never know.
The library patron I remember most is an elderly Hispanic lady. She approached me at the information desk only able to speak very little English inquiring about computer classes in Spanish. At the time we only offered classes in English, but I told her I could refer her to another location that offered Spanish computer classes. She explained to me she had taken classes at 2 other branches, but still did not know how to use a computer. I told her I would do a one on one class with her on a Saturday morning if she was willing to try do to the language barrier. Bright and early Saturday morning she appeared at the branch with her laptop in hand ready to go. I spent 1 hour and forty-five minutes with her and to my amazement she grasped everything I taught her. The following week this patron returned with 6 other Spanish speaking seniors to the library all with laptops on their hips ready and eager to learn how to use the computer. Somehow the patience and one on one experience I gave her allowed her to grasp what she was being taught. Every time she comes to the library now, she asks me “do you remember me? I’m the lady who didn’t know how to use the computer.”