This week’s staff interviewee is Charlene Churchill, the Ellsworth Public Library’s Director. This is part one of the interview…stay tuned tomorrow for part two!
In your opinion, what is the most important service a library provides for its patrons?
I think the most important service is access to information and it can be information that’s in a physical book, it can be access to whatever is on the Internet, and it can be having professional staff available who are able to answer people’s questions. I think people really are lost if they don’t have someone they can turn to to get reliable answers to their questions.
What is your favorite book, author, and genre? If you have more than one, that’s ok!
Well, I’ll start at the end, I guess. I love mysteries because I find them so enjoyable. I can just read a mystery and sort of get lost in that and forget about whatever else I might have on my mind, so for me, they’re very relaxing, but they’re also a challenge for me to try to guess whodunit.
That said, moving on to to authors. I like a lot of the authors who wrote what are considered classic books. I like F. Scott Fitzgerald, I like some of Dickens, I like Anthony Trollope, who is a contemporary of Dickens, but his books present a different outlook from Dickens’. I like Ernest Hemingway. In terms of more up to date authors, I like Peter Matthiessen, I think he writes good literature. I like authors who write well, who write good stories, who write using vibrant language.
Hmm, favorite book…that’s really hard [laughs]. Unless it’s a horrible book, probably the last one I finished is my favorite, I don’t know how else to say it, cause I like so many books, I really do. And I like some non-fiction, too. I like reading biographies and I like reading history especially.
Well, the library I visited as a child in the town I grew up in was a tiny little one room library and there were no computers, which is a really big difference. I mean, there was no Internet, none of that stuff existed. When I was growing up, and even still, because it’s a pretty small town, the librarian knew everybody, and knew what they liked to read, and knew everything about the person (which could be good or bad). We see so many people now that no one employee can get to know everybody and that’s a big difference, too. I think people are more anonymous, if that’s how they choose to be, which can also be kind of a hard thing for the person themselves, because some people definitely come to our library because they don’t have family or they don’t have close friends, or both and for them the library is a community place. It’s where they interact with other people. I guess that’s still the same in some ways because the library I grew up in was also a gathering place for people.
Check back in tomorrow for Charlene’s favorite library memory and her views on the growing popularity of ebooks.
- Interview with Marie Davis (thelupinelibrarian.me)
- Interview with Nina Emlen (thelupinelibrarian.me)