Adina Aguirre, Children’s Librarian and Acting Branch Manager:
I have been a librarian at Melrose Library for a little over a year. In that time, I have seen almost 5000 students, toddlers, and babies for storytimes, class visits, outreach, craft projects, and performances. This month alone there have been 30 programs by Melrose Library staff for children. We have an active knitting group, and are starting an Urban Fiction Reading club. Our Friends group, formed this year, is working with the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council to have the yearly block party at the library.
I have students ask me regularly about their futures since the budget crisis became clear. In a neighborhood which does not have resources for youth, what safe place will they visit during the summer? As their school libraries are downsizing (or non-existent), what will they read, and how will they get to college? With so many non-native English speakers, how will they gain mastery over a foreign language without books? Many of them want to be the first in their families to go to college; how can they do that without open, free access to books about animals, chemistry, sports, and languages? How will they learn about role models without biographies? How will they become fully computer literate in an age where technology is a given part of education?
I wish I had a better answer for them than “I don’t know”. I strive to live up to the expectations of the people of this community. They expect that we will help them find jobs, teach them how to use the computer, help their children explore new topics, order new and interesting books for them to read, provide programs for all ages, and support all of their informational needs. At Melrose, we do so proudly. We provide a wonderful, supportive, safe place for people of all ages. I love my job, and I love my library. I hope, for the sake of thousands of students, parents, teens, seniors, toddlers, and teachers, that you support us as much as they do.