Taneya, a librarian in Brooklyn:

Taneya, a librarian in Brooklyn:

“I started my career as a journalist, but never lost my childhood desire to be a teacher, dancer, and an artist. Growing up, I envisioned a space where I could combine these loves with transformative social services- and I do that as a librarian. Malcolm X said the library was his alma mater, and that still resonates today. It’s truly the “People’s University.” We offer hundreds of free resources, and see the tangible results in the community. For example, a winner of our business competition now partners with a local farmer’s market to bring affordable healthy food to the neighborhood.”

This story was originally a nomination for the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. It has been generously provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

Christian, a librarian in Queens:

Christian, a librarian in Queens:

“I got to know this guy in Jamaica, Queens who was just back in the neighborhood after doing some time in jail. He LOVED the respect and service that we gave him at the library. It meant a lot for him to be treated as a man with dignity. He even told me once, “You and my momma are the only two people keeping me out of trouble right now.”

This story was originally a nomination for the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. It has been generously provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

Matt, a Librarian in Queens:

Matt, a Librarian in Queens:

“A lot of employment requires online application. One man was very frustrated trying to fill out an online form for a shipping/receiving position, similar to a job he had for years. We were able to fill out the form, and I called to verify that they got it. I learned from that experience that a lot of these skills people perceive everyone has, it’s not true. Job information/tech services is a huge role for libraries.”

This story was originally a nomination for the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. It has been generously provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

Judi, a library volunteer in Queens:

Judi, a library volunteer in Queens:

“As a paraprofessional, I monitor two special education students who volunteer weekly at the library for vocational experience. They organize books, magazines and DVDs and have begun to take on additional duties. The library has offered the diligent and dedicated special ed students of mine a worksite that enables them to acquire valuable skills.”

This story was originally a nomination for the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. It has been generously provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

Linda, a librarian in the Bronx:

Linda, a librarian in the Bronx:

“An elderly Hispanic lady approached me at the information desk inquiring about computer classes in Spanish. At the time we only offered classes in English, but I told her I would do a one-on-one class with her on a Saturday morning if she was willing to try despite the language barrier. Bright and early Sunday morning, she appeared at the branch with her laptop in hand, ready to go. To my amazement, she grasped everything I taught her. The following week she returned with six other Spanish-speaking seniors, all eager to learn how to use the computer. Every time she comes to the library now she asks, “Do you remember me? I’m the lady who didn’t know how to use the computer.”

This story was originally a nomination for the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. It has been generously provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

Kim in Brooklyn:

Kim in Brooklyn:

“There was a young teen, about 14 or 15, and she wanted to run away from home. There wasn’t a script for dealing with patrons with such inquiries, but I know she came to the safest place she knew, her neighborhood library. We talked about resources the library offers, books and websites for dealing with traumatic experiences, and why she felt the need to run away. She still felt like she needed to leave home, and ultimately I called the police. I used my best judgement, as they are better trained in dealing with situations like this.”

This story was originally a nomination for the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. It has been generously provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.