When I’m asked what it is that I enjoy most about my job at the Bindoon Library, my reply is absolute and immediate – the members. If it wasn’t for the people that I interact with on a daily basis, my job would not be anywhere near as enjoyable. Sure, I love books and reading and being creative, but if that all happens in a vacuum, it quickly loses its fun.
When I first started the job, I didn’t know anyone in the community. I could walk down Binda Place and be completely unrecognised, just another face in the crowd (albeit with colourful hair). I’d only lived in Chittering for a year at that point and as much as I had looked forward to living in a close knit community, I was rather lonely. It can be daunting to jump into different community and social groups when everyone is a stranger and they don’t know you from a bar of soap. Luckily I got my library job and slowly but surely, I got to know people within the Shire and they got to know me. I became a part of this wonderful community that we live in.
That has meant that I don’t even need to see a library card when most members come in since I already know them. I know their likes and dislikes and can help chose them a book if need be. I have members who phone before they come so I can have a selection ready for them to simply pick up; I have members who have trouble seeing so I take them around and read them the blurbs on the back of the large print books; when our exchange from the State Library comes in, I will put certain books aside for people who I know will really enjoy them. I’ll be stopped in the isles of IGA and have people ask if I can get a book in for them via Inter Library Loan, and if I’m down in the suburbs it’s common to run into a local and we’ll have a chat about what’s new in the library and what things we have coming up.
A visit to the library isn’t just a transaction for my members. They can have a chat, we talk about family and the everyday things happening in their lives, the exciting things that are going on around town. I can recommend services that the Shire provides, give them information about what’s happening in the community, and keep them abreast of important information. It’s not just business, it’s social, and in my opinion, that’s what being a part of a close- knit community is all about.