Love Letter to My Library: Tenecia Phillips

We're grateful to Joel D. Valdez Main Library Manager, Tenecia Phillips for taking the time to submit this Love Letter to her colleagues.

Dear Staff of the Joel D. Valdez Main Library (or Mainers as I so affectionately call you),

The Joel D. Valdez Main Library is quite a thing, isn’t it? With its multiple floors, multiple collections, unique challenges, never-ending adventures. There are many who feel overwhelmed by this building, feeling as if they can’t maneuver it, find the things they need or want. But you, the staff of this branch, help them learn about our library system, our resources, specifically our branch/building.

You guide them in finding what they may be looking for whether that’s a book, dvd, seed packet, computer session, community resource. You do this with patience. With kindness. With excitement about the possibility of what they and you may discover together. You do this in spite of a pandemic, social distancing, and limitations on how you can connect with your community. You do this with creativity. With the willingness to say “I don’t know the answer to that particular question but let me find out”.  

Our library branch is so much more than a building and the books and computers within it. Our branch is YOU. Our branch is your heart. Your willingness and desire to serve, support, educate, celebrate, and move forward your community despite challenges, limitations, and fear. Our branch, without a doubt, is YOU.

I love the Main Library and have since I began working here ten years ago as a Business/Reference Librarian. It is my love of this branch that pushed me to request multiple transfers over the years when working at other branches and vacancies at Main became available. It is this love that has pushed me to take on the challenge of being the Branch Manager. But it is your love of our work and our community that fuels my fire and motivates me to be the best manager, cheerleader, advocate, supporter of you that I can be.

You, Mainers, are the cream of the crop. The best that there is. An amazing, wonderful, compassionate group of people and I am forever grateful to work beside you.