Nat’l Library Week: Get Real with MPL Staff

Get Real Poster - smallNational Library Week is in full swing, and we are inviting you to “Get Real” at the McPherson Public Library! What does that mean exactly?  Well this year, we wanted to show you what we as a library are all about — and that includes our staff.

With that being said, who better to share their most memorable experiences here at the library than the three staff members who have graced the stacks of McPherson Public Library the longest!  I give you–Steve Read (Library Director), Coleta Steers (Technical Services Coordinator), and Jennie Hall (Head of Adult Services)!


When did you start working at the McPherson Public Library?

SR: In July of 1990.

JH: In 1995.

CS: Stint #1  March, 1979 – May 1983, Stint #2  March, 1993 – current.

What is your fondest memory while working at the library?

SR: One Easter when my daughter was little, it was rainy and cold outside, and any hopes of egg hunting were dashed.  But as the library was closed on that Sunday, I hid Easter eggs inside the library.  She was all smiles.

JH: My fondest memory was helping a woman find her birth twin she’d never met — genealogy and history rock!

CS: I actually thoroughly enjoyed creating, filing, and “reading down” catalog cards for the old wooden card catalog cabinets!

What has changed most about the library since you’ve been working here?

SR: When I started at the library, there was one PC — and it had been fried by a lightning strike a day or two before my arrival.  Now, almost everything we do here is permeated by technology.

JH: Everything! But especially technology.

CS: Technology – from creating/typing catalog cards to entering the same information into the bibliographic records of our online catalog; it continues to morph as we look forward to the future . . .

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while working here?

SR: When I first started, an insurance claim was pending against the library, and my predecessor left a note and a phone number to call the Alliance Agency. I dialed the number, but being new to town, I assumed that I was calling the big Farmers’ Alliance Insurance Company on Main Street.  When someone answered the phone, I asked to speak to the library’s agent about the claim.  When she told me that she could help me, I didn’t believe her:  I thought I was talking with a receptionist and insisted that in a big company like that, someone in some department must be handling our claim.   It turns out that I actually was talking with our agent — in the Alliance Agency office — across the street from the library in the Warren Place!  The new Library Director didn’t make a very good first impression on her.

JH:  I plead the fifth!

CS: I can’t remember an embarrassing moment.  I’m pretty safe and sheltered within my four walls.  I do remember a home-bound patron that I took books to when I worked at the circ desk; everyone giggled when she would call to say she needed new books, because she always asked for “Chiquita”, and they all knew she meant me.

Well there ya have it!  These three have seen a lot of milestones in their years here at the library. W e extend our greatest thanks to each of them for all of their continued effort and hard work that is given to the McPherson Public Library daily. Our library would not be the same without you!  Thank you!