I did, however, get to meet our new city librarian Jim Blanton. He arrived on August 24. A newsletter item informed me that he would be visiting different library branches around town (there are 18 of them) to meet with patrons. On Monday I took myself down to the main library to see for myself what he had planned for the years ahead.
I thought the meeting would be held in the auditorium and he would introduce himself to those who showed up, give us an idea of his vision for the future, and then take questions and suggestions. I took a journal so I could make notes.
Turns out, though, that this was a very informal meet-and-greet affair. Mr. Blanton was stationed in the lobby and patrons could just walk up, introduce themselves, and chat with him for a few minutes.
I put my notebook down to shake his hand. I welcomed him to Louisville and told him that my mother had been head librarian of one of the system's busiest branches for twenty years and that I still felt a part of the library family. I let him know I was thrilled with the ebook lending library and had attended many of the library's author events and other programs over the years.
I also regaled him with my story of meeting Alexander McCall Smith (here). He highly approved of my tactics in crashing the tea given for AMS and applauded my resourcefulness. I suggested that if he could ever see fit to bring Bill Bryson to Louisville I would be most grateful.
Mr. Blanton is a Kentucky native and comes to us from his job as director of the Davis County Public Library in Owensboro. Before that he was with the Chesapeake Public Library in Virginia. He is also the incoming chairman of the Kentucky Public Library Association.
He assured me that he was a big proponent of library programs for the community and so I feel we are in good hands. I only wish I had thought to ask him what he was reading...
That's awesome that he would be so accessible. And, yes, it would have been interesting to know what he's reading.ReplyDelete
Hi, Kathy. Good point about his accessibility! I hadn't given that much thought as I am so used to seeing his predecessor at events and talking with him. Next time I see Mr. Blanton I will make sure to find out what book is on his mind.Delete
What a lovely post! I'll bet he was thrilled to meet a librarian's daughter. The city librarians are celebs, so how nice that you got to meet him.ReplyDelete
I hope he sticks around. Our last city librarian stayed for 17 years! I think he will be good for the library. He is young-ish and I suspect he will bring some new energy to the city.Delete
A city librarian who conducts a meet and greet in such an accessible way is sure to reveal what he is reading at some point in time. Your account of Mr. Blanton reminds me of a school superintendent I had the privilege of knowing and being on the board that hired him. From the get-go, he was accessible to the public and the responded by approved a very big building referendum. Sounds like good library days are in the making. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, I hope so, Penny. Our last guy did much for the system and stayed around for 17 years. I trust Mr. Blanton will bring some new energy to the city.Delete
How civic-minded of you to be on the school board! I am sure there must have been a few 'academic conflicts' that your level-headedness helped to quell.