A Librarian on Giving, in Every Form

The following was originally shared on social media by librarian Cearra Harris. It is reposted with permission, lightly edited.

It’s National Library Week and I wanted to share one of the many moments that made me want to become a librarian.

My first position with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library was in teen and children’s services, and I also was my branch’s volunteer point person.

One of my first volunteers was a young woman who has autism. When she began  volunteering she was very shy and reserved. But I immediately was in awe of her dedication to her position and her love for the library. Every week she put her all into every task I assigned, and she always held me accountable. For example, if I told her I was going to teach her a new task in her next shift she was going to be early and ready for us to work together!

Over the two years we worked together we really got to know each other and I saw her blossom. She grew from being extremely reserved to starting conversations with everyone in the library. During one of her shifts her case worker visited with me and told me that because of her volunteer position she aspired for work in the library one day. She told me the staff and the library made her feel safe.

When I moved on to my next position it was really hard. I promised my volunteer’s mom that I would keep in touch, and since then I’ve been able to write recommendation letters and provide support from afar. I was pleasantly surprised when I received the pictured card in the mail letting me know that my volunteer’s family made a donation to the library on my behalf. This small moment in my career will always stick with me.

I became a librarian because I love my community and I love finding new ways to help those we serve thrive! The library allows me to combine my love for literacy, public service, and community activism everyday.

I have so many moments that I could share – I’d never be able to fully express my love for the library, the community, and every beautiful soul I’ve met on this journey. At 28, I’ve been working for the library A DECADE. The library changed my life, and as a librarian I hope to help everyone reach any goal they set for themselves!

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