Worthington Libraries staff members meet and assist many people every day.
Some of our interactions are so inspiring – so humbling or heartwarming – we write them down to share with each other and the library's board of trustees.
These Why We're Here Moments remind us that the programs we offer, the services we provide, the help we give – even if it's just supplying the telephone number for OnStar to a patron locked out of her car (we're impressed she had the library's number memorized!) – make a difference.
Several times a year, each library location hosts a speech pathologist from the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center, who offers advice and answers parents' questions about children's verbal skills. A longtime patron shared with programming specialist Jenny Braund her appreciation for the partnership. Were it not for such conversations during a recent Chatterbox session, she said she would have never known how to get her child help before starting kindergarten.
A woman who often brings her preschool-age grandchildren to the Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road, told staff members one of her granddaughters didn't talk until they started playing with the puppets in the children's department. The woman said the child felt more comfortable communicating when playing with the puppets, and now she won't stop talking.
Staff members recently helped a teenage patron navigate printing, notarizing, making copies and scanning/faxing some college financial aid application materials. What made the interaction special is the young patron was carrying a backpack that was a summer-reading club prize a decade ago. Staff members noted how special it felt to know the library had been a part of this young adult's journey from child to kid to teen and now a college-bound student.
A 10-year-old patron asked library associate Carol Veach for help in printing her dog-walking "credentials." After her document was sent, she pulled out a plastic bag full of change ready to pay for the print. Veach told her that, at the library, job-related documents are printed for free. The child was ecstatic and ran to tell her father she wouldn't have to use any of her own money to start her "new job."
In the fall, Jennifer Maier, a library associate at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., helped a World War II veteran find a photo of the Tinian Island airfield from which he helped service the B-29 bombers that attacked Japan. His daughter had brought him to the library, and he wanted desperately to show her the island where he spent time in "hell." Maier helped them find photos and a detailed map. It was the first time he had seen an image of the airfield since he left there more than 70 years ago, and he was deeply moved.
Homework help center coordinator Keenan Blanke answered a call from a patron who wanted to know the date of the third Tuesday in June 1953. She explained she was daydreaming about her late husband and said their first date was on that Tuesday. Blanke provided the information, and she shared a short story about that day spent with the man she eventually would marry.
Hillary Kline is a communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.