When the call for WBRL blog topics came, I knew right away that “A Day in the Life of Community Services” was a post just begging to be written. But when I sat down to hammer out a few lighthearted paragraphs about what’s typical in this job, I suddenly remembered that “typical” doesn’t exist here. My bad.
The truth is, our department—responsible for programs and events—is unlike anything else in the library. Our office is Seuss-level wild: cubicles draped in bright, Hawaiian leis and weird bits of faux-fur; stacks of lumber in this corner, a pile of paintings in that one; there, in the middle, a cart full of beach toys. Paper crafts adorn the desks, there’s glue and laundry soap in bulk, and oh, look, an assortment of nice-looking rocks.
We are the children-at-heart, the Jacks-of-all-Trades, the people your math homework warned you about—you know, the ones who buy sixty-two pineapples and eight pairs of sunglasses for some reason.
And we are very busy.
Just imagine: Overhead the air is filled with strange, bright, and often ludicrously extravagant ideas. Phones are ringing off the hooks. Deadlines taunt us, odd hodge-podges of projects and plans and experiments crying out for attention, laughter echoing from desk to desk as often as wails of despair.
And then, each day, we emerge into the light of the gentle library, that place where all the books live, and we ask our patrons to come and share the things that we’ve created. We either paint or dance or read, play or teach or translate. We might just act like scientists, or zookeepers, or mermaids. We’ll show you how to make some art you’ve never made before, or teach you how to adult, or just put on a movie and make popcorn.
And we will Celebrate. Absolutely. Everything.
Because this place is for everyone, and it’s our job to make it so. So no, there’s no real “typical”. It’s a hard day-to-day to describe. But for better or worse, it’s not ever boring.