Friday, April 22, 2011

Thank You and Adieu

Last night the Library was alive with laughter, curiosity, intelligence, passion, and the love of a good story, as we gathered to listen to Cara Black share how and why she writes her mysteries set in Paris. It was wonderful.

During the ten years I have worked at Pacific Grove Public Library, there are not many moments when I have just sat and imbibed the atmosphere of the Library. When you're part of the staff, there is always something or somebody, (if not many things and many people), waiting for your attention.

For the most part, I find the constant movement, interaction, variety of questions and responsibilites energizing.  But there is something peaceful and settling about entering the Library and quietly imbibing its atmosphere.  It's like a good poem or a soft melody or the company of a dear friend - it holds you and opens your awareness to new possibilities.

I have worked in more than a dozen libraries during my career: public, academic, legal, even a bookmobile driving around San Francisco. But this library, the Pacific Grove Public Library, is my favorite.

It's my favorite for many reasons. I love the Carnegie arches and the high ceilings. I love the Children's Room and the Landaker mural. I love the collection, which has been carefully honed to contain old and new titles - to be discovered and rediscovered by one generation, then another. But mainly I love the spirit - of the library, the staff, the community it serves.

I love the staff who welcome you as you walk in the door. I love the exuberance that rings out from the Children's Room. I love the inquisitiveness of people who stop by the reference desk.  I love the fact that visitors feel at home here. Because the reality is - this is part of every Pagrovian's home.

The Library is  the community's living room - a place where you can relax, rejuvenate, engage. There's something for everybody: books, newspapers, magazines, music, movies, eBooks to read, audio books to listen to, story times for children, events for adults. 

When I've entered the Library through the staff entrance, I've been inspired by the potential - for the Library to build on its natural beauty and spirit and become even more for its community. More programs for teens and adults; more workshops on writing or using technology, on cooking (during the Farmers Market), or even knitting; a speaker's circle highlighting the creativity and expertise of local residents; an oral history program; local history exhibits; game night; bookclubs, etc.

There is so much I had hoped to do: to help rebuild the Library after the devasting budget cuts of 2008; to help make it a "village library for the 21st century."

And so it is with some sadness that I bid the Library, its staff and patrons adieu. I have accepted an offer to join the staff at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and will begin working there next week. (I feel like I am going to graduate school: so many new resources and databases to learn, while I meet and assist students from all over the world!)

I have loved being here. I have enjoyed meeting you, chatting with you, working with you.  Thank you for trusting me with your questions, sharing your ideas and inspiration, lending a helping hand, being wonderful patrons.

My wish for you is that your Library receives stable and secure funding - soon. And flourishes for another century or two.

Best Regards,


California Healthy said...

Dearest Pamela,
What a beautifully written 'adieu'- as engagingly 'hometown' as P.G. and the Carnegie Library you've been such an integral part of. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and cheerful disposition with us for so many years. You will be missed - but we know where to find you! All the best at MIIS - glad you are still local.
Patricia Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Pamela, you are the best and Pacific Grove has been so very fortunate to have had your care and your skill for all of these years. I am so honored to have worked with you and to be able to say you are the best librarian I've known. Good luck dear friend - MIIS is going to be so fortunate to have you with them.
-- polly archer --

Ellen said...

Dear Pamela: Pacific Grove PL is losing not just a superb Reference Librarian, but someone who epitomizes the very best of what I call a "Community Librarian." With your professionalism and dedicated service at the Ref Desk, and for years now with this wonderful blog, you have not simply informed the community of all that PGPL has to offer, you have engaged the community in a way that is just so perceptive. Your departure leaves a huge hole in the state of "community service" in the little City of Pacific Grove.
Fondly, Ellen Gill Pastore

ashlee said...

Pacific Grove Public Library will not be the same without you. I have been so lucky and fortunate to have trained and worked with such a fantastic, professional, and intelligent reference librarian. MIIS is lucky to have you.
Miss you!
Ashlee Wright

Anonymous said...

Thanks Pamela for all your help at the reference desk. I was stumped by a Marshall McLuhan quotation and you really came through. Have fun at MIIS!