NMRT Member of the Week Spotlight: Michele Lefler

Name: Michele Lefler

Email: mlefler@yorklibraries.org

Institution/Location of Institution: Paul Smith Library of Southern York County / Shrewsbury, PA

Job Title: Director

Brief Job Description:

Everything! I don’t think it can get any more brief than that! Seriously though, as Director, it’s my job to keep the library open, operating smoothly, and the patrons happy. I do everything from changing the trap in the waterless urinal (gross), to dealing with busted water heaters, to ordering books, and dealing with unhappy customers.

What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?

I love the variety in my job. I love knowing that every day is going to be different than the one before. At the same time, there are projects that make every day just enough like the one before that I don’t feel like it’s utter chaos. I love the books. I love the people. I love the challenges each day. It’s been said if you have a job you love you never work a day in your life. That’s true. There are days I want to pull my hair out, but I love it in the end.

What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?

One of my major focuses right now is adult programming. Our programming budget focuses completely on children, so adult programming has been almost non existent. It’s challenging yet fun to come up with creative and new programs that will engage adults and bring them into the library. It’s an exercise in mental abilities, to be sure, but it’s quite exciting to see adults come in and engage in programming beyond basic materials circulation.

What got you interested in libraries?

My Grandmother read to me when I was little. I know that sounds so cliche, but it’s true. Also, I was allowed the freedom to read whatever I wanted as a child. I was able to walk across town by myself to the library, and I spent so many hours on weekends and over the summer in the public library. It was certainly a love affair that has never quite ended. But I don’t want it to!

What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

I love that NMRT lets me get involved in so many ways. It lets me stay hidden if I want to, but also gives me the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone- which is necessary. NMRT is a convenient way for new ALA members to explore the association and get involved which in turn, will lead to whatever you want from the association.

Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Get involved! Don’t stay hidden in the stacks. Get out of your comfort zone. Volunteer for a committee. Don’t wait for someone to contact you. Speak up and volunteer to just do it.

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