COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Changing lives one story at a time

News Oct 07, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

By Melanie Southern, special to the News

Inspirational stories abound within a library – they can be found in a well-worn book of love and redemption, or in an article about a major scientific discovery. It may be in a movie or a piece of music. For library staff, many stories of inspiration come from our library users — people frequently come to us and share their personal stories.

We hear stories of people’s joys and sorrows. Not long ago, for example, a woman came to me and announced that she was pregnant. She had done considerable research at the library and we had discovered a number of books together that supported her during this time. And when she brought in her newborn, we celebrated and shared personal board book favourites.

Not all the stories are happy. I remember helping someone find information on the prognosis for her father-in-law’s condition. In the process, I heard all about his life and how he overcame insurmountable odds; how he was a wonderful father and a personal support for her.

When we discovered that his conditional was terminal and he would leave this world in a matter of months, I gave her a shoulder to cry on. We connected regularly afterwards and I was so pleased when she shared with me the eulogy. We had worked together to find appropriate quotes and poems.

The strength and weaknesses of the human heart are often on display at the library and staff are inspired by them. We want to do better, be more informed, and try different approaches to support people and their individual stories. We are inspired to discover new ways to meet the changing needs of people, and provide a haven for you.

The Canadian Librarian Association recognizes that the library does offer inspiration. October is Canadian Library Month (librarymonth.ca) and in celebration it is asking you for your stories of inspiration.

How have libraries touched your life and opened new opportunities for you? Send your video or story and it will be shared with the rest of Canada. And don’t forget to tell us, too.

Melanie Southern is Director of Public Service, Partnerships and Communication at Hamilton Public Library.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Changing lives one story at a time

News Oct 07, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

By Melanie Southern, special to the News

Inspirational stories abound within a library – they can be found in a well-worn book of love and redemption, or in an article about a major scientific discovery. It may be in a movie or a piece of music. For library staff, many stories of inspiration come from our library users — people frequently come to us and share their personal stories.

We hear stories of people’s joys and sorrows. Not long ago, for example, a woman came to me and announced that she was pregnant. She had done considerable research at the library and we had discovered a number of books together that supported her during this time. And when she brought in her newborn, we celebrated and shared personal board book favourites.

Not all the stories are happy. I remember helping someone find information on the prognosis for her father-in-law’s condition. In the process, I heard all about his life and how he overcame insurmountable odds; how he was a wonderful father and a personal support for her.

When we discovered that his conditional was terminal and he would leave this world in a matter of months, I gave her a shoulder to cry on. We connected regularly afterwards and I was so pleased when she shared with me the eulogy. We had worked together to find appropriate quotes and poems.

The strength and weaknesses of the human heart are often on display at the library and staff are inspired by them. We want to do better, be more informed, and try different approaches to support people and their individual stories. We are inspired to discover new ways to meet the changing needs of people, and provide a haven for you.

The Canadian Librarian Association recognizes that the library does offer inspiration. October is Canadian Library Month (librarymonth.ca) and in celebration it is asking you for your stories of inspiration.

How have libraries touched your life and opened new opportunities for you? Send your video or story and it will be shared with the rest of Canada. And don’t forget to tell us, too.

Melanie Southern is Director of Public Service, Partnerships and Communication at Hamilton Public Library.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Changing lives one story at a time

News Oct 07, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

By Melanie Southern, special to the News

Inspirational stories abound within a library – they can be found in a well-worn book of love and redemption, or in an article about a major scientific discovery. It may be in a movie or a piece of music. For library staff, many stories of inspiration come from our library users — people frequently come to us and share their personal stories.

We hear stories of people’s joys and sorrows. Not long ago, for example, a woman came to me and announced that she was pregnant. She had done considerable research at the library and we had discovered a number of books together that supported her during this time. And when she brought in her newborn, we celebrated and shared personal board book favourites.

Not all the stories are happy. I remember helping someone find information on the prognosis for her father-in-law’s condition. In the process, I heard all about his life and how he overcame insurmountable odds; how he was a wonderful father and a personal support for her.

When we discovered that his conditional was terminal and he would leave this world in a matter of months, I gave her a shoulder to cry on. We connected regularly afterwards and I was so pleased when she shared with me the eulogy. We had worked together to find appropriate quotes and poems.

The strength and weaknesses of the human heart are often on display at the library and staff are inspired by them. We want to do better, be more informed, and try different approaches to support people and their individual stories. We are inspired to discover new ways to meet the changing needs of people, and provide a haven for you.

The Canadian Librarian Association recognizes that the library does offer inspiration. October is Canadian Library Month (librarymonth.ca) and in celebration it is asking you for your stories of inspiration.

How have libraries touched your life and opened new opportunities for you? Send your video or story and it will be shared with the rest of Canada. And don’t forget to tell us, too.

Melanie Southern is Director of Public Service, Partnerships and Communication at Hamilton Public Library.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.