We are excited to share with you the first interview in our new series, People of EPL. With these interviews we will be highlighting people in our community who want to share their library story. These may include how the library has impacted their lives or a positive experience they've had at the library. If you'd like to share your library story, we'd love to hear it. Click on the button below for more information:
Long-time Edwardsville resident, John I., began coming to the library daily after retiring. Prior to changes the library made due to Covid-19, John would start his day at the library reading the newspapers and finding new books to read. Staff were so accustomed to seeing him every morning that concern set in when John was not here for an entire week, but were very happy when he was able to use the library again.
He has enjoyed the benefit of Edwardsville Public Library being part of the Illinois Heartland Library System because he can request books that aren’t available in the building. He remembers earlier times when if a book wasn't on the library's shelves, you just couldn't get it. Today, most of the libraries in the central and southern parts of Illinois are part of the Illinois Heartland Library System, a consortium of 344 member libraries that share resources.
Because John spends so much time at the library, he has observed many interactions between patrons and library staff. “Sitting there reading the paper, I hear people come to the desk and everybody’s greeted warmly. If it’s a first-time person, if there’s someone that needs something, it’s explained how they can attain it.” He noted the wide variety of people that come to the library and remarked that people also use the library as a sanctuary.
Until he started coming to the library frequently, John was unaware of the many events and activities that take place here. “I never knew that the library was that involved in the community. I just thought the library was a place where you went, got a book, took it back when you were done - that sort of thing. Until I came here and saw the notices on the door of upcoming events and things like that.”
When asked, John said he feels that his tax dollars are well spent and added, “I have no criticisms of the library. None whatsoever. In fact, I’m overwhelmed by the people I’ve met here. There’s quite a warm atmosphere, and I appreciate it.”
About the Author
Katherine is the Social Media Coordinator and has been working at EPL since 2008. She loves books, especially ones with unique plots and those written so well that she can't put them down.