Interview: Ada McEwan, Author of Confessions of a Small Town Librarian & Librarian at the Elliott Public Library
thank you for taking the time to come by my blog. *hugs* Tea, coffee? Sit down,
we’ve got TONS to talk about!
for having me on your blog, Sabina, it is one of my favorites!
Release Day for the anthology Rise of the Goddess. Can you tell us why this
anthology is so special for you?
anthology is so important to me because it is going to help my library. We were
hit with major budget cuts this year. More importantly, I love my library and
every single author and artist feel the same way I do and are so willing to
help. I am very humbled by their support.
tell us about your wonderful library? How is the atmosphere?
library was built in 1981 after two years of fundraising and hard work. It is a
metal Morton building and we share half of it with the Elliott Community Hall.
All labor was done by a wonderful group of men who volunteered their time and machinery.
We like to keep the atmosphere light, homey and as comfortable as we can. It is
the safety zone for all the children in town and our library it almost always
stated earlier, the anthology came to life to help your library. As amazing as
it is that so many people all over the world is contributing to the anthology,
why is it necessary?
anthology is necessary for so many reasons. We are one of the lowest paid
libraries in Iowa. Our library typically runs on thirteen thousand dollars.
That alone isn’t enough to pay for wages and light and gas bills. We have had a
30% increase in patronage, books checked out, people using the internet and one
on one assistance. The sad part is, we don’t get enough budget money from the
city and county to cover the basics, let alone purchase any books. We rely
heavily on donations to keep us going. The Friends of the Library help us as
much as they can, but when you are dealt with a 2300 dollar budget cut on an
already inadequate budget, this hurts. The worst part is, budget cuts mean we
cannot help our community as needed. Libraries are the heart of the community,
but apparently to some, it isn’t important enough to see what all we do.
Can you tell me more about the Friends of the
Library and what kind of work they do?
are a group of volunteers who share a common goal: "To help the library
grow as a resource for the community." We all hold the library close to our
hearts. We donate our time and our skills to raise money to help our library
with budget shortfalls. We try and help to keep our library updated, safe and
very, very special. In today's economy, small town libraries are feeling the
brunt of financial hardship and we aim to change that.
How many people are there in your town, and how
many uses the library?
approximately 350 who live in town and we serve about 300 people a month. We have
had a 30% increase in people who use our library. Which is huge for us!
What social influence does your library have on
the city? How will the city suffer for the budget cut?
serves many purposes. Socially, we are the only resource in town for people of
all ages to use. We help people look for employment, we help the elderly, if
they are homebound, and we will deliver books to them. We have summer reading
programs for the children and have a teen program as well. We are so much more
than a building full of books. This budget cut greatly affects us as a whole.
If we don’t have the budget money to pay for bills and staff who is desperately
needed this puts a lot of pressure onto one person and the library board. If we
don’t have the money for programs like these, I am not sure how we are going to
be able to help the community with the growth we are seeing.
told me that the history of the library and your family’s history go way back.
What is the connection?
My great grandmother,
grandmother, great aunts and scads of women had what was called the Waveland
Mite Society. My great grandmother was a beloved member of society, she donated
part of the family farm for a cemetery and was known for her generosity and
devotion to the community. These women would tuck away money they would make
off of selling goods and would buy books with the money raised. They would loan
out books from their personal library and once the town had incorporated a
library; they donated their books to it. My great aunt served on the library
board for decades, she too, was a generous and devoted woman who loved the
some of the best experiences you have had as a librarian?
there are so many to tell. I love being a librarian and every single day I am
there, I am just happy to help people. One time, I had a young boy come running
up to me and threw his arms around my waist and told me I was the best
librarian ever! I love summer reading programs, we spend months planning for it
and they are so fun! I just love seeing all the smiling faces. Last year we had
43 kids, normally we would have about two dozen. One day, my sister, Laura (who
is also a librarian there) and I were up there early and a man who was walking
across America for the Wounded Warrior Project stopped by, it was amazing
meeting him. I could write about these experiences forever.
Thank you so much for coming by Ada. I just
adore you and what you do for us all!!! You’re beautiful inside out.
You are too
sweet, Sabina! Thank you for having me and listening to me go on and on about
my library and town.
You're always welcome here Ada! Anytime!
If you all look at the previous post here on my blog, there's a Release Day Review of the Rise of the Goddess with a GIVEAWAY. I rated Rise of the Goddess 5 Potions, it was that amazing to me!