Library Lovers Month -Thoughts from the Executive Team

What does Library Lover’s Month mean to you? And why do you think it’s important? 

Nate: Library Lover’s Month is an annual opportunity to celebrate libraries and all the ways they can educate, entertain, and enrich us, particularly by facilitating reading.  I believe that anything that celebrates literacy and libraries and their role in a healthy society is a wise thing to do. 

Lisa: It seems like there’s a day, week, or month to celebrate everything and I’m here for it! LLM is a take on Valentine’s Day which I LOVE! Heart-shaped cookies with sprinkles, candy, flowers, the chance to express your affection for your nearest and dearest—what a great holiday! And to extend that celebration in honor of libraries, what’s not to love? It’s great to set aside a time to remember loved ones. In the day to day hustle it’s easy to forget to say I appreciate you; I love you; but it’s important to do that. We love and appreciate our library, patrons, and staff! 

Jo: I think Library Lover’s Month is a time to celebrate libraries and everything they represent along with the people that work in them that make them so special. It’s also a month to thank all the people who love the library (especially CALS!). 

What are you looking forward to the most regarding the renovations at Main? 

Nate: I’m excited to have the first floor that will connect to the outside spaces better by replacing a lot of concrete walls with windows that let in light and allow people to look out onto the new park space south of the building.  And I’m eager to see what the architects might be able to provide in the way of rooftop programming and meeting spaces. 

Lisa: I’m looking forward to the looks on the faces of everyone who walks through the doors of the newly renovated library. I know the space will be beautiful and will be a place that we will be proud of, that will inspire each of us to be the best that we can be. 

Jo: There is so much to look forward to with the renovation at Main.  It’s really a rare opportunity for employees and patrons to give input on what is important to them in creating the new space that will serve our community for years to come.  When I visited the Fayetteville Public Library a few months ago, I asked a visiting patron what she liked most about her library. She replied, “It’s not just a library, it’s a community center and we all just love to be here.”  My hope is that patrons and staff will feel like this after this remodel is complete.  I am looking forward to Main being a destination place for families, community members, and all library lovers. 

What are you reading now or recently? 

Nate: Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead, Imani Perry’s South to America, and Jason Reid’s The Rise of the Black Quarterback. 

Lisa: I recently read Daisy Jones and the Six. I actually listened to the audio version. I’m trying to train myself to listen in addition to reading. Someone recommended it as a great audiobook, and they were right! The story was inspired by the life and experiences of singer Stevie Nicks and the band Fleetwood Mac. There is also a series starting soon starring Riley Keough, Elvis Presley’s granddaughter. I can’t wait, 10/10 would recommend! 

Jo: I am currently reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.  It has been on my list to read for years as everyone I know who has read it says that it is just a joy to read.  Someone once said that when they give a book as a gift, they always give Lonesome Dove because to them, it is the gift of reading itself.  What prompted me to pick it up now was seeing one of my favorite musicians at White Water Tavern in December: James McMurtry.  He is Larry’s son and one of the best and most underrated songwriters of our time.  While reading this amazing novel, I am discovering that the apple fell very close to the tree! It is indeed a joy to read and if you have never read it, do yourself a favor by doing so! 

Jo was recently promoted from Director of Finance to the Co-Deputy Director of CALS. How have you adjusted to this change? 

Jo: I am learning a lot and very quickly in my new role as Co-Deputy Director.  I appreciate Lisa’s and Nate’s confidence in me and allowing me the opportunity to do this job. When I was the Finance Director, I learned the importance of having a good team to support you.  I have been extremely fortunate to have a strong accounting and human resources team who are now taking on more responsibilities as I assume a larger role in the library’s operations.  I am also fortunate to have some new folks reporting to me, staff who exemplify what it means to be librarian. I am excited about the future of CALS and everything that we hope to accomplish in the next few years.