When I think of the Madison library, I think of how helpful the staff are. Without them I would not know half the stuff I know. In this essay I will share my personal experiences with members of the staff and how they helped me to write my forthcoming history of the library distract.
One day at the library, I was searching the shelves for a book to read. I found a book on the Boise Public Library District's history, but decided it wasn't the right one because I wasn't interested. But it got me thinking; what if the Madison Library District had a similar history? So, I did the one thing I knew to do: ask a librarian. When I asked Courtney about it, she directed me to "Madison Best Remembered," a book on the history of Madison County. It only touched briefly, on the library so I thought, "Why don't I write a history of the Madison library?"
I started by basic observation. I believe that by looking at the contents of a building (pictures, plaques, murals, etc.) you can get a good idea of a building's history. After looking through the library, I had just that: a good idea of the building's history, but I needed to learn more. I asked Cheryl if she could guide me to more resources. She directed me to the library's website, which had a history of the library on it. This sent me on an internet rabbit hole on the library's history, which led me to articles and a blog on the library's expansion of 2009-10, though most of the photos were missing.
At this point, the history that I knew spanned 1921-2010, so there were no documents covering the years from then to the present. When I asked Gina about this, she suggested I talk to Valerie.
Around this time Vivian passed away. I didn't have a lot of experience working with her since she was over the children's books, but when I was looking through the library blog, i found this:
"In order to get the water pipes in the correct places for the new sprinkler system, the construction company had to knock a hole in the southwest corner of the existing building. This hole just happened to coincide with our Young Adult section of the library. Vivian, our Children's and YA Librarian, moved and rearranged all the books in that corner in order to accommodate the construction. It was quite an effort on her part, and she did a tremendous job!"
After Vivian's funeral I was able to talk with Valery. She mentioned records that the library had in storage and she helped me look through them. Valery told me they would have to be digitized, so I put the effort on pause until they were.
Recently, I was taking to Rebekka about the project and about the construction blog with the missing photos. She then told me of how the library has photos stored on their computer.
During this three-year journey, the help from the library staff has been constant and supportive. Without them my work-in-progress history would never come to fruition. Despite my young age, I feel like I have a wonderful team backing me up.