April 2024: Interviews Behind The Stacks

Column Description: Take a look behind-the-stacks and meet the people who make the library run. I will be talking to the individuals who do the jobs that we don’t usually see: custodians, pages, clerks, and board members, to name a few, to find out how they got involved in libraries and why they love them!

What is a Library Trustee? According to the New York State Library, “Library trustees play a keenly important role in shepherding the dedicated and prudent use of library resources. Always striving to provide the best service which benefits and supports the entire community, trustees must make policy, personnel and fiscal decisions crucial to a positive direction for the library. While delegating the day-to-day activities to competent staff, the library trustees must always be mindful of how their decisions impact the lives of people and the future of their community. As public officers, library trustees carry an essential set of fiduciary and legal responsibilities.”

The following is an interview I conducted with Dan Glass who is a Library Trustee, on the Board of Trustees at John Jermain Memorial Library, located in Sag Harbor, NY on the eastern end of Long Island. 

Did you grow up using libraries?

I grew up in a small town in upstate New York. I was always in the library, reading, using the computers, and doing homework with friends. It’s where I developed my love of science fiction and fantasy.

In your opinion, why are libraries important?

As Neil Gaiman says "libraries are one of the few public spaces where you're allowed to exist without the expectation of spending any money." The library is so much more than books on a shelf. They are community centers where people can meet up. You can take programs to learn new things, and they have many resources for everyone. 

Is there a particular library resource, program, or display that you have seen your library or another library offer, that made a lasting impression on you?

I love that my library has a "library of things," where you can borrow items that you might only need once like a luggage scale, laser level, or a kit for podcasting, among other things.

What are you currently reading?

Seveneves by Neil Stephenson

Last question, would you rather have dinner with your favorite author or your favorite character?

I would love to have dinner with author Jim Butcher. He wrote one of my favorite series, The Dresden Files.

Kimberly Parry is the Head of Adult and Teen Services at Amagansett Library. She started working in libraries as a page in 2015 which coincided with beginning her MSLS online at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Kimberly’s areas of interest include collection development, programming, graphic design, and team building.

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