National Library Week 2017: April 9 – April 15
MPL Employee had NEVER been to the Library
(April 11, 2017 – – National Library Workers Day; @alaapa, #NLWD17)
After losing her 20-year job at the Post Office in 2011, Wanda knew she had to learn some computer skills, get a cell phone, and prepare to get a job.
Wanda lost her income, insurance, brand new car, and got a divorce and went bankrupt, and someone suggested she go to the Library, where she could get what she needed, for FREE.
“I had NEVER (and when I say NEVER, I mean NEVER) been to the Library,” says Wanda Gray, Circulation Assistant/HR Receptionist. Wanda said she started going to the Library as if it was her new job, dressed and ready to learn, staying 9-5 (except for lunch) every day. She went to computer classes, read, and learned some needed skills, and got a phone. She volunteered at MPL for about 7 months, putting in 600 hours. When she noticed no one at the HR desk, she inquired about working for the Library. MPL Director Keenon McCloy knew of her commitment and passion and what she was trying to accomplish, and offered her the job. “I received my last unemployment check on a Friday, and had secured a job at the Library by that next Monday,” said Gray.
Wanda attended a Career Fair at the Library, and Graduate Memphis inspired her to go back to school. She got assistance in filling out her FASA application, and started LeMoyne-Owen College this past January. “So far, I’ve got 3 A’s and a C” said Gray.
“My faith has kept me going too… I even tithed out of my unemployment check, and leaned heavily on my church family.” Gray says she came from the projects, no father in her life, and chose a good paying job instead of college years ago. Now she says she understands the value of education and how it can your life, and did change hers. Wanda’s autistic and non-verbal son inspired her to learn sign language and foreign languages. “We have Library customers who are deaf, and speak other languages, and I help them by being able to communicate with them.” Wanda spends her breaks at work, and her own time learning! She can’t get enough.
NEW this year… Taking Action!
(April 13 – – Take Action for Libraries Day)
Thanks to the American Library Association (ALA) and in response President Trump’s proposed budget cuts, this day is to highlight the Library community’s efforts to safeguard funding for the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which serves as a critical funding resource for every state. Read more here…