On a warm, late August morning in 2007, I watched my only child climb the steps of the big yellow bus that would take her around the corner (literally) to her first day of 1st grade. After taking way too many pictures and waving goodbye, I climbed into my little red Mini Cooper and drove off to start my own first day…my first day as Youth Services Coordinator of Paul Smith Library of Southern York County.
During the past 10 years in that position, I have read to thousands of children and their parents, grandparents and/or caregivers. I have laughed at the outrageous stories that these children told me about their families, often to the chagrin of the subjects of these tales. I have cried for “my” families when they are hurting. I have worried with them when they were concerned. I have helped choose books for your reluctant readers. I have found resources for school projects. I have planned Truck Zoos, Tea Parties, BINGOs and 10 crazy years of Summer Reading Club featuring puppet shows, magicians, music, bugs, dogs, monkeys, reptiles, Minecraft, LEGOs, Stuffed Animal Sleepovers, camps for fans of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson and thousands of crafts…oh, the many crafts!
I did all of these things because it was my job…NO, that is a lie. I did all of it because you let me into your lives. I became a member of your community and it humbled me that you all accepted this crazy New Englander with a sometimes unhealthy passion for the Red Sox and Patriots. You transformed me from Lily’s mom to Miss Dawn. I can’t even begin to list all of the places around Southern York County that I would hear a little voice say “Hi Miss Dawn”. I even heard it at Hershey Park and Universal Studios Orlando…yes even there!
I have seen so many of your children arrive at story time in the fall as shy timid little ones and blossom into little chatterboxes by winter. I have seen your children grow into elementary students and even a few middle school students. And I have done my very best to remember all of their names because there is no smile in the world as big as your kid’s when I say their name or ask about their lives.
Now flash forward to a warm, late August morning of 2017 when I watched my only child climb into her car and drive away to her first day of 11th grade. So much has changed in the 10 years I have worked at Paul Smith Library of Southern York County. It is with a bittersweet lump in my throat to inform you that I will be leaving the library. I will miss being a part of your lives as you have been a part of mine. I am excited to start a new chapter of my life (no pun intended) and I know that I will continue to see you and your children at the grocery store, Walmart, the gym, wherever! It has been a privilege to work with amazing co-workers both in Paul Smith Library and throughout York County Libraries. I am forever indebted to the countless volunteers who made my job easier by preparing crafts for story times and maintaining order in the children’s area by shelving the many books that are enjoyed by so many of you.
But I can not possibly leave without one last performance of our traditional December puppet show, “The Gingerbread Boy”. I invite you all to join me on Monday, December 4 at 10:30 am, Monday, December 4 at 7:00 pm OR Tuesday, December 5 at 10:30 am. Please sign up at the front desk for 1 showtime only.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Always.