Monday, October 13, 2008

The Russians' Visit

Visitors and staff in the Children's RoomSometimes we just take things for granted. Sometimes our customers do also. We don’t mean to, but after awhile even the most special building or services are routine, just what we do.

So it was particularly refreshing to see the Southside Library and our services through new eyes, the eyes of the visiting Russian librarians. I wrote in an earlier blog that the Russian librarians who would visit are a part of a Sister City exchange from Sarov with Los Alamos. When the librarians walked into the Lobby of the Southside Branch I greeted them with good afternoon in Russian. They were pleased and laughed and hugged me. (Okay, okay I only know about 4 words plus “da” for yes.)

They missed nothing, peering into media shelving, the computers, children’s cubbies and all lining up to have me print a receipt for a checked out book at the self check machine to take with them. When we presented each of them with the new Library card which features Jimmy Romero’s tinwork, they were delighted, particularly with the small card that could go on their keychain.

Visitors with ArtAt the end of the tour the translator was asked if the librarians had any questions. She turned and exchanged several sentences with them and when she turned back she said, “No, they say they are too emotional with everything they have seen.” What do you say to that? Our thanks to the Los Alamos Public Library for inviting us to join the tour. And special thanks to Oksana, Yelena, Lyubox, Alina and Olga for sharing their love of libraries with us and helping us see anew what we provide to our community.

The visitors are:
Oksana Paramonova
Yelena Yutkina
Lyubox Belyakova
Olga Hugustson (Los Alamos translator)
Alina Levina (translator)

Posted by PCH and SAS.
Photos by TT at Southside.

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