This month we are celebrating Gwen Bumpers’ 15-year service anniversary at the Edwardsville Public Library. If you come into our library regularly, you have probably seen Gwen – she always shares a smile or a laugh with everyone she meets. She is an important part of the EPL family, and we want to thank her for all her hard work and dedication as our Head of Technical Services.
There are many things that go on behind the scenes before library materials get into your hands. The fact that Gwen and her Technical Services department do their work so well, means that you don’t need to worry about all those steps. I had no idea what a bibliographic record or an item record were before I started working here, and I now understand why the department is called “Technical Services”. These records are very detailed, and I am grateful that she takes so much care to make sure things are accurate. Gwen takes great pride in her department and the work they do, and rightly so!
I appreciate that Gwen is always mindful of putting the patron first and considers all aspects of how to provide the best possible customer service. She jumps in frequently to help patrons in the computer lab and at the circulation desk, and she takes the time to listen and connect with patrons and staff and makes them feel appreciated.
Thank you, Gwen, for your 15 years of service to the community of Edwardsville!
- Jill Schardt, Library Director
In what part of the library do you work and what do you do?
I work in the Technical Services Department. I am a cataloger.
What has changed the most since you started working here?
The location of our department and the operating system that we use are two of the biggest changes since I started working here.
What services offered at the library do you wish more people knew about?
The "Suggest an Addition" feature on our website. I don't think all our patrons realize that we really appreciate suggestions to add to the collection.
What has kept you working at the library?
It is the thrill of opening a box, sorting the items, inputting the information into the catalog, making sure it is on the shelf properly and then hearing a patron talk about how much they enjoyed or needed that item. It is watching my coworkers explain & explore new apps or websites the library has made available to patrons. It is talking with patrons about the community or programs available within the library. It is thought-provoking and motivating conversations with my coworkers. It is watching children notice the series spine labels on the books and get excited that all the series are in one spot. From ordering, to cataloging, to processing and everything else it takes to get an item into the hands of a patron, I enjoy it all.
Do you have a book character role model?
In my daily life I strive to live a Christ-centered lifestyle. The one character that is an example of what I want to achieve is Hadassah in the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. She is everything I want to be in bad and good.
What is your favorite book that you’ve read in the past year?
How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan. I have grandsons that are sometimes watching me instead of the other way around.
Do you have a favorite book?
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, the best novel ever written. Since I found this book in 1998 I have reread it once a year. Every time, I have learned something new and explored some different aspect of the story.