Today as part of National Library Week, we’re joining the American Library Association (ALA) in celebrating National Library Workers Day and the real heroes behind who we are and what we do: our librarians and staff!
Today is a day to recognize the myriad contributions made by Free Library staff, those who work tirelessly to make possible our mission of advancing literacy, guiding learning, and inspiring curiosity each and every day in Philadelphia and beyond. From offering social service support and health services to career and small business development to programs for our city’s littlest learners, our library staff members provide opportunities for engagement, enrichment, and development for all.
The Free Library of Philadelphia offers over 31,000 events and programs each year and the librarians at our 54 neighborhood libraries field over 3 million reference questions! It’s safe to say they keep busy.
Has a Free Library staff member touched your life or helped you in a particularly meaningful way? You can show them your appreciation by nominating them with a testimonial about your experience to the ALA’s “Galaxy of Stars.” Examples of nominations include how the staff member helped with writing a resume, a memorable event led by engaged library staff, or maybe even how a librarian was able to locate the book you were looking for even though you couldn’t remember the title or author’s name. Nominate today! (And if you’re feeling especially grateful, tell us on social media, too!)
We would be remiss if we didn’t check in with a few of our trusty staff members today about their work:
"I get the privilege of giving the public access to our free and open spaces here in the library. I enjoy serving our guests, and each time they report back to me that we’ve set the stage for them to have a successful event, it makes me even more proud to be a staff member at the Free Library! I’m so looking forward to working in the new library spaces, and continuing to work with the current spaces to help our guests navigate our venues!" – Stephanie A., Parkway Central Library
"I love that I get to do a lot of research as part of my job. I’m always searching for ways to include more points of view and authors of different backgrounds into our collection of teen books. I want our trans teens to seem themselves in the collection, I want indigenous kids to see themselves, I want African American and Jewish kids to see themselves. It feels really good to hear from librarians across the city that their teens are finding things that they want in our libraries." – Rachel F., Materials Management Department
"I enjoy the creative aspects the most, especially being able to brainstorm, discuss overall concepts and design, from marketing brochures to exhibition themes to banners." – Lo I., Communications
"In general, this is the best part about my job—the people I get to meet and see on our stage. Some of my favorite talks have been from authors I wouldn’t have otherwise thought would be in my wheelhouse. Just hearing so, so many varied perspectives has really informed my own writing and life perspective, again, especially from avenues I wouldn’t have expected. What more could you ask for from any job?" – Jason F., Author Events
So join us in giving a big thank you to our Free Library staff – we truly couldn’t do it without them!