Suzanne Summers LaPierre
Information Services Librarian, Fairfax County (VA) Public Library
PLA Member for 13 years off and on
I started writing for Public Libraries Online this year and in the process I delved more deeply into reading and sharing the stories from my fellow library practitioners. Digging through the Public Libraries Online archives, I learned about library bike shares and bike-based outreach, tips for helping customers dealing with bereavement or experiencing homelessness, as well as answers to nagging questions such as: How do authors get paid from the use of library books? Reading these articles also enlightened me as to the trials and tribulations of people in other aspects of library work, including directors and administrators, as well as those of us on the front lines. This has expanded my view of both the intricacies and possibilities of public libraries and strengthened a sense of common purpose with others in this field. Frankly, it is possible to become burned out in this job, but realizing that others are working to uphold the same principles and seeing specific inspiring examples of that is refreshing and motivating.