Ingram Blog

Library Spotlight: Santa Maria Public Library

The Librarian spotlight for December features Dawn Jackson of Santa Maria Public Library. She is an 18 year library veteran who finds community outreach efforts an important part of her role as a librarian. Continue reading to see what makes this library program so unique and successful.

Q: Do you have a unique program or service that has been successful in your community?

Recently, we held a Harry Potter Potions program that combined science concepts with the magical world of Harry Potter.  All of our participants were thrilled, and each got to take home their own potions textbook with recipes for each of the 7 concoctions they made.

Q: Do you have a new program, location or technology that you would like to share information about?

We have a brand new STEAM for preschoolers program that was funded through the California State Library. This program teaches young children some basic science and art concepts through stories and hands on discovery. Though new, it has been very popular and successful so far.

Q: What do you wish your patrons knew that your library offers?

I wish our patrons knew more about the wonderful databases and digital materials we offer.  There are so many options to all kinds of library users out there, that the library really is the place to be - - either physically or virtually.

Q: What is a major focus for your library right now?

Our library is very focused on turning outward to our community through outreach and information seeking so that we can offer current and future library patrons services and information that will enrich their lives.

Q: Where do you see librarianship in 10 years?

I see librarianship continuing to grow and change.  Information sharing is so dynamic in today’s world. Librarians need to be prepared for what is up and coming, and be innovative in their use of information gathering and sharing to serve their communities in the best ways possible.

Q: What’s your proudest moment as a librarian?

My proudest moments as a librarian come when I am connecting with our community in meaningful, empowering ways, either inside or outside the building.  When someone tells me thank you, or that I have helped them or changed their lives for the better—those are the moments that confirm my vocation.

Q: What is your must follow piece of advice for running a successful library program?

Expect the unexpected!  No matter how well we plan, the unexpected can always occur.  I work with youth, so this is especially true for me.  The ability to be flexible and think on your feet can turn a disappointing program into a success that may look very different that the success you originally envisioned.

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever gotten in your book drop?

I have had some interesting things over the years, including: a hamburger, snail shells, and some things I would rather not mention.

Q: Please finish this sentence: A library is…

the key linking the past, present and future--in short, the world!