The People Who Work in Libraries

By Awnali Mills

Person with book

Photo from

Have you ever noticed that life never seems to happen the way that you expect it will?  After several medical tests recently, I got some news I didn’t want to hear.  I thought I could deal with the situation on my own time, but ended up having emergency surgery—as in, I got up for work and ended up in the emergency room instead of the library.

My co-workers were fantastic.  They stepped right in and took over my storytime and a class, as well as my scheduled desk times.  I’ve spent a week and a half in recovery, and all I heard was, “We miss you.  Get well.”  There were no complaints about the extra work burdens placed on these lovely people, and even though my illness coincided with two vacations, nobody made me feel guilty for taking the time I needed to heal.  They even sent me notes, and videos, and encouraged me when I called to check in (even though I was very grumpy at one point—pain makes me grumpy.)

I am so very grateful for these wonderful people.

When I started this entry, I wanted to say something about how important it is to be able to fill in for others at a moment’s notice, but I find myself instead simply overwhelmed with gratitude for the attitude.  Sure, my co-workers could have filled in for me, and have done so on different occasions with aplomb and style, but it was the sheer generosity of spirit and the concern for my well-being with which they did it that has me floored.

Of course, they may very well have grumbled among themselves, but I wasn’t here to hear it, and I doubt it took place.  I’ve heard them deal with other people’s absences with the same grace and kindness.

It’s good to work in a library, with books and quiet, and all the lovely things libraries hold.  But it’s even better to work with the people who work in libraries.  They are the true treasure, and a gift to their communities.

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5 Responses to The People Who Work in Libraries

  1. Sue Van Tassel says:

    What a nice post! LM Kids rock. Hope you are feeling much better these days.


    Sue Van Tassel Library Public Service Supervisor, Children’s Tuckahoe Area Library 1901 Starling Drive Henrico, VA 23229 New phone number (804) 501-1915 or (804) 501-1910 x 4 ________________________________

  2. Steve & Morrisa Heintz says:

    Absolutely AMEN to that! Please extend my heartfelt thanks to them for their compassion and human kindness as well. Hugs all around!

  3. Dana Benedetti says:


  4. Kat says:

    What a beautifully written thank you. I’m so sentimental (and because I know some of the wonderful people you were writing about) I had to wipe away tears. HCPL folks are the best and HCPL children’s folks are the very best! Hope you continue to get better. Take it easy.

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