“We have a staff of about 55, 25 part-time and roughly 30 full-time,” said Jill Donegan, the library director for the Stephens Central Library.
Today is National Library Workers Day, a day to celebrate all of the hard-work, dedication, and expertise of library support staff and librarians.
“We’re giving away free bags to hold all of the materials you check out from us at all of our branches,” stated Donegan.
But a library worker does much more than just help you check out a book.
“We have a number of departments. We have the circulation desk, and we have a reference department that assists with using online research and databases. We also have shelvers. We have a whole team in the back. And then there’s administration, which is me and I have two others,” added Donegan.
And being a part of the staff requires many more qualifications than one may think.
“You do need to have a bachelor’s degree, and then you go to graduate school. I went to UT, which is accredited. I think there are 3 or 4 others in the state that offer that. It’s a more involved program than many people think,” explained Donegan.
Despite the advancements in technology, library workers are still irreplacable. Many even compare them to search engines, with a heart.
“We’re living in such an information-rich time. How to analyze and evaluate databases and websites, helping them locate material, it’s just a very important time in terms of fact-checking and all of that,” said Donegan.
So today, and any day you can, recognize library workers. Because they are the most important asset of any library.
“We’re also a great resource for self-improvement, helping people find jobs and learn a new skill. We’re kind of the go-to place for all of those enriching efforts,” explained Donegan.