|Posted by Sean Riley on May 29, 2019 at 10:25 AM|
On Thursday, May 23rd, the Kiwanis Club of East Bridgewater welcomed guest speaker, Christopher McGee, Director of Library Services at the East Bridgewater Public Library.
Director McGee told us that his journey from Kingston Springs, a suburb of Nashville, to Director of Library Services seems an unlikely one. As a child reading, aside from school books, wasn’t something his family did. The small, one-room town library, staffed by a volunteer librarian with donated books, was too far from his home to visit regularly. But one day he found himself down town with some time to spare and he went into the library and had what he described as a “Reader’s Advisory Interview” with the librarian. This experience opened a whole new world to him and changed his outlook about reading and books.
After high school he enrolled in Community College part time. And, wanting to be where people “knew stuff,” he worked at the library as an entry-level clerk/book labeler. Eventually he earned his BA and got a job in the University Library. But he still had his eyes set on being a Professor of English Literature. He continued his education, going to North Eastern University and then UC, Davis for his PhD in English Literature. Then he earned his Master’s in Library Science at San Jose State University.
Dale Julius and Director, Christopher McGee
As a child he remembered how much he loved the public library. He always thought that university libraries were about “work” and public libraries were about what people wanted to read. During a Circulation position in Maryland, his advisor pushed him into an administration job explaining that he could have a bigger impact by directing the library and making sure it was doing what needed to be done to be a resource for the community. Thus his love of public libraries was born.
He explained how the library has evolved as the needs of the community evolved. Books will always be a large part of the library’s offerings. But they offer so much more. Beyond DVD’s, music CDs, and digital offerings, they have yard games, and a karaoke machine. They have museum passes to loan out as well as a telescope! They also provide a place for people to work and connect to the internet. They have meeting rooms you can use, computers, printers as well as free WiFi. They’re also a great resource if you’re looking to learn more about East Bridgewater’s History. All these things are available with just a free library card. So, anyone who claims that in the age of the internet, libraries are obsolete, obviously doesn’t know how much libraries have evolved and grown.
Director McGee put is so well when he said, “The library isn’t what they “have”…but it is the people who work there and the people who use the library every day. The library changes and grows depending on what the people need. It is a space for the people and the community. For a full list of their services, hours, and more, visit their web site: http://eastbridgewaterlibrary.org/
We want to thank Director McGee for taking the time out of his schedule to meet with us and for helping to remind us what a gem our public library is.
If you have a story or want to visit one of our meetings, please feel free to fill out the “contact us” form on our Home page or write us at [email protected]
Categories: Guest Speaker