Greenwich Free Library

October Newsletter

Home Fires

Travel is wonderful. I was away for a couple of weeks this summer and still find myself pompously (to my ears) saying, "When I was in Japan . . . ." way too often. New people, new sights, new sounds, new food are all wonderful for refreshing our perspectives and broadening our minds. Of course, being away can be stressful; especially if you have a job that you usually think about during nearly all of your waking - and some of your sleeping - hours.


Running a small non-profit is very much like running a small business; there aren't a lot of backstops if something goes wrong. I haven't been away for two consecutive weeks since I took this job and wasn't sure what would greet me when I got back. It turns out, I needn't have worried. My triumphant return was entirely anticlimactic. There were no disasters that needed cleaning up, no fires to put out, not even a pile of mundane tasks that had gone undone in my absence.


What I did see with my fresher eyes was that I work with amazing people. The library was running smoothly. (It was actually a bit more organized without the papers and other things I tend to scatter around in my attempts to multitask.) The calendar was bursting with programs and activities.The public was getting served, the volunteers and staff were happily productive, the Board of Trustees was working away behind the scenes. I thought to myself, "Either I am a managerial genius or just really lucky." Before you send me an email, I'm quite clear that it's mostly the latter.


What I also saw was that we live in a beautiful place. Coming back from the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference the next week (Another absence during which nothing fell apart.) I decided to take the slow way home; the Charlotte Ferry and the back roads down the west side of Lake Champlain into Washington County. The scenery was as lovely as anything I had traveled half-way around the world to experience.


That landscape also held more meaning because it was home; a place where my work can make a difference. I am proud of what my fantastic colleagues and I accomplish. Even on the most average day, we get to find that emergency book a teenager needs for school, listen to the squeals of delight as a toddler finds the surprise at the end of the story and becomes a reader, or be the place where someone's Skype interview lands them a job. Every day, we get the chance to meet our goal of creating the wonderful library that our community deserves to have. Dorothy was right, there's no place like home.



Annie

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