April 12- 18, 2009, is National Library Week, the theme being “Worlds Connect @ Your Library.” National Library Week (the second week in April) has been sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1958 and grew out of a concern that Americans were spending less on books than other forms of entertainment. American book publishers and the ALA formed a committee to encourage reading as one of their goals.

The theme of the first National Library Week in 1958 was “Wake Up and Read!”

Yesterday, April 14, was National Library Workers Day. Anyone who goes to the library knows that library workers have a lot more to deal with than just checking out/in books, CDs, DVDs and tapes.

Librarians have to deal with patrons who argue about such things as whether or not their checked-out items were returned, overdue or maybe damaged before being checked out.

Library workers have to cope with the rambunctious behaviors of youngsters and adults who come to the library to socialize or just get off the street.

Library workers sometimes have to threaten to call the police to quiet down boisterous patrons or actually call the police to have unruly patrons removed. (And if you think some patrons do not exhibit perverted behaviors in libraries, you’ve got another thought coming.)

Most libraries now offer public access to the Internet. Worlds Do Connect @ Your Library. As some of you know, Evanston’s Main Library recently had its public Internet system upgraded. Not only has this meant additional training for library workers in the use of this new system, it also means that library workers must train patrons.

In addition, library workers have to cope with the glitches that often occur when Internet services are upgraded, glitches that test the patience of patrons using the computers and therein impose additional tasks and stress on library workers.

So … during this National Library Week and the weeks to come, library workers should be appreciated for all they do and have to cope with while serving library patrons.

I certainly appreciate them and want to give a special thank you to Evanston library workers for all their patience and assistance they’ve given me over the years.

Thank you!

Peggy Tarr

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...