When she was in high school, Carolyn Eland took an aptitude test that said she should look into becoming a librarian.
“I thought it was a crazy result because at the time I was interested in math and had decided I was going to be a math major,” said Carolyn.
Although Carolyn did eventually go on to study math and become a teacher, an opening in the community’s in-house library about a year ago proved that maybe there was something to that aptitude test’s results.
“Fast forward about 60 years and I find myself being a librarian and discovering that what that test picked up on is that I really get pleasure out of sorting things and getting them in order,” said Carolyn.
While she enjoys the work, Carolyn’s time in the library generally only amounts to about 10 minutes a day restocking the shelves due to the library’s loose check-out procedure.
“We don’t keep an inventory of what we have and who has it, it’s strictly on the honor system—they can keep it as long as they want to,” said Carolyn. “It’s very informal and very easy for anybody to read whatever books they find they’re interested in.”
Carolyn’s real-world counterpart is Lori Berezovsky, outreach librarian for the Salina Public Library, who visits the community to help keep residents connected to the library’s resources regardless of their ability to visit it in person.
“Once a month, the community provides me with a couple of tables in the lobby where residents and staff can check out books, update their library account, request specific titles, make new library cards, answer reference questions and more,” said Lori.
Having held other positions in the library during her 24 years of employment, Lori says she especially enjoys the personal relationships she is able to build through her current job.
“I love getting to know the residents and learning their reading tastes. When I find a new book by their favorite author I get just as excited as they do,” said Lori. “I learn so much from the residents and I'm so glad that we can make their lives a bit easier by providing access to books.”
Lori will make her next Library Lobby Stop at the community on February 14 from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. In the meantime, the community’s on-site library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or as Carolyn puts it, “The door is always open and the light is always on.”
PHOTO: Carolyn Eland enjoys keeping our community's library in order.