“That’s part of how we keep the library alive.” Dolores said as she explained the process of bringing in new library materials and weeding out old ones.
“Keeping the library alive.” I’d never thought of it that way. But as I learn more about the library, I see it more and more as a living thing. Quite appropriately, as the Library Manager, Dolores seems to me a true nurturer, guardian, and caretaker of the library—a “gardener of knowledge,” you might say.
I have no doubt that people who know her better see this even more, and not just with books, but with people as well. Dolores is quick to stop and ask how you are doing, or reference an inside joke, or serenade you with her latest rewrite of a Beatles classic. Her positivity, care for people, attention to detail, and ready humor make her a welcome presence to patrons and library staff alike.
Dolores comes from Collins, Iowa. When I asked her what brought her to Siloam Springs she said, “We sold our snow blower in Minnesota so had to move south.” She continued, “Seriously, my husband retired from his first job, we had family in this area, and we wanted to move to a different town.” Dolores says the Siloam Springs Library was a “natural fit” because, “I love learning, books and helping people learn and discover things.”
This passion came up throughout our interview as Dolores shared her joy in watching patrons and staff make new discoveries. For example, early on in her Siloam Springs Library career, she helped another staff member host a cricket match on the library lawn. She had a blast helping kids learn a new skill, experience a different culture, and have a lot of fun at the same time. Dolores loves working with children and has always found a way to work with them whether at church or at work.
When asked where she would like to see the library in ten years, Dolores painted a picture of an educational, recreational, informational, and social center for our community. “All four of these areas work together.” She explained, “they enrich each other.” In this library, information is readily available, all forms of media are shared and discussed, the joy of learning is nurtured, and people have lots of fun playing games and enjoying library programs.
Of course I had to ask a few “just-for-fun” questions…
What are you reading right now? I just got done reading “Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship” by Michelle Kuo.
Favorite meal? Steak, pizza, chicken Kung Pao, spaghetti. It would be easier to tell you my not so favorite foods. Beets, corned beef, and anchovy pizza. Fish and pizza don’t go together for me.
Favorite quote? “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss
Favorite color? Green, orange, purple
You have a free Saturday with no responsibilities, what is your ideal day? Relax at home in the morning, do something later in the day such as attend a ball game, spend time with friends, explore the area and eat at a great restaurant (not fast food!)
Dolores: Library Manager, knowledge-gardener, direction-setter, learning advocate, sports fan, song (re)writer…the list goes on. I hope this post has been a small introduction for those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Dolores, and for those that know her well, just another reminder of how thankful we are to have her as a part of our community.
‘Til next time,
P.S. Mark your calendar for family fun on Saturday, November 4th! Actor, dancer and Native American cultural educator, Mike Pahsetopah is giving a performance you won’t want to miss! Stay tuned for more details here and on our Facebook page.