Staff interview: Mary McKillop

Today’s staff interview is with Mary McKillop, circulation librarian and the coordinator for the Ellsworth Public Library’s Caregiver’s group.  Caregiver’s is a support group that meets once a month for caregivers of older people.

What is the most rewarding part of coordinating the Caregiver’s group?

Working with the people in the group; and maybe finding out I have been able to help. I love the way this group has grown and how they help each other. The group helps each other with information, advice, and reassurance. Once a caregiver cried through the whole meeting—everyone listened and offered suggestions. By the end of the meeting, there were hugs all around.

What do you think is the most common reference question?

It’s hard to say, because we get so many different kinds of questions. Often people call and just want to know if we have a certain book or if we can get a copy of it somewhere (which we can through inter-library loan). Other questions can take a lot more time; we may search for information in our collection or online. Also, people from all over the country call looking for information about their ancestors from Maine—though sometimes it takes a while to search things out. Our Genealogy Room is great; we have lots of materials and The Ellsworth American on microfilm back to 1851.

Why is the library important to the community?

I think we are a great entertainment/information center. If you call or come by and ask us a question, we will do our best to get you an answer. It really bugs me if I can’t find what you want to know.

We are also a meeting place. The local chess club (that was meeting at the now-closed Mr. Paperback) is now meeting here on Thursday evenings. We also have numerous activities and programs for all age groups here at the library.

What do you think libraries will be like in the future?

I picture future libraries as becoming more of a central system for getting information or providing entertainment (I haven’t run out of movies yet 🙂 ). Libraries will be providing the equipment and facilities to find information and have librarians to help find the answers. The advent of e-books and so forth mean that people won’t always be coming here for books, rather they will come for other types of technologies or materials. I think some people come here to sit and read quietly, check out the papers, and maybe meet with other people.

What is you favorite book, author, and genre?

I like all kinds of things, fiction and non-fiction. So many good books pass by the circulation desk when you’re working here—I’ll see something I want to know more about and take the book home. I also read some of the newest best sellers. I often have two or three books going: one “picture” read (like a cookbook with lots of pictures), maybe one for information, and one for pleasure.

Patrons and the other librarians also recommend books to me. I’m in the middle of reading the three “Hunger Games” books, recommended to me by the youth department librarians—one more to go.

At one time, I wanted to read all of the books in the Caregivers’ Corner; I only got about halfway through them. Now I just try to keep up with the new “caregiving” books.

At home, I keep a list of books I want to remember and it is getting longer. I do sometimes reread something, almost always non-fiction—the book Stuff (about compulsive hoarding) was one I read a couple of times. Right now, I keep taking home Creating Moments of Joy for the Person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Every time I go through it, something else strikes me as a good idea for caregivers.

Thank you, Mary!


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