This article by Madian Romero was originally published in the Arizona Daily Star on March 22, 2020.
I began my library journey while I was in college, working as a page at Joyner-Green Valley Library.
It was my first professional experience in customer service and I never thought I was going to enjoy it as much as I do now. It took some time getting used to answering phones, helping people find books, and navigating the computers. Since my first day six years ago, I have learned so much.
Today, I enjoy every minute of it.
My favorite part has always been shelving picture books. With a degree in illustration, looking at all the pictures was like heaven. When I graduated in 2015, the library manager encouraged me to take on more responsibility, so she introduced me to event programming.
I was in charge of the weekly Adult Art Club. Every week I came up with different crafts for people to make. It definitely helped me grow my organizational skills and build confidence. Seeing people enjoying the club and expressing gratitude kept me motivated.
About two years ago, the Caviglia-Arivaca Library needed help. I had never been to Arivaca and lived 30 minutes away. My manager at Joyner-Green Valley Library encouraged me to work there for a few days to gain experience working at other libraries.
I had grown used to the fast pace at the busy Joyner-Green Valley Library. The Caviglia-Arivaca Library is the absolute opposite. Once there, I spent my time shelf reading, shelving and decorating. I fell in love with the town.
When a position opened up in Arivaca, my former manager in Green Valley was the first one to tell me. She knew I had the potential and believed I had more to offer.
Submitting my application was the most exciting and scary career experience I’d had to date. Two years and six months later, though, I’m still here in Arivaca. I have the best manager who helps me grow professionally. I’m comfortable asking her for help, whether it be customer service advice, dealing with difficult situations, and more.
Our substitute librarians are both kind and extremely knowledgeable. They help us when we are short staffed, but they do much more than that. Both live in Arivaca and are former town librarians themselves, so they play a huge role in helping me better understand the community. Our pages are not only fun to work with, but thanks to them, our library is always very organized.
My favorite part is getting to know the kids and teens in Arivaca. I love finding out what makes them excited and planning programs especially for them. When they come and ask for me by name, I know I’m doing something right.
Our community loves escape rooms, which have recently gained popularity nationally. In fact, last August, Vox reported there were at least 2,300 escape rooms in the United States. For the past two years, we’ve created escape rooms complete with clues and locked boxes, and of course, a certain amount of time to find the keys! Our customers really enjoy these events. Just because we’re in a small town doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. I could list 100 reasons why I love what I do, but I’d go over my word count! Take a day trip and visit us — I’d love to tell you more.
Library associate Madian Romero has worked at Caviglia-Arivaca Library since 2017. She has a Bachelor of Arts in illustration and has added many artistic touches to the library, including a beautiful assortment of rocks painted like children’s book characters and covers.