The first book was written thousands of years ago. The first book checked out at the Standley Lake Library was 25 years ago. Perhaps a strange parallel, but it’s nonfiction nonetheless.
Lorraine G. was there on opening day, August 17, 1991. As a true bookworm and young mother, working part time at the library was a perfect situation. It’s not easy to cram a quarter century of memories into one interview, but here are a few things Lorraine shared.
Opening day was really special. The check-out line extended halfway through the building. Of course, back then everything was done by hand, so things progressed slower. There was one (badly working) check-out station, but most patrons waited in line. They were thrilled to have a shiny new library staffed with terrific people. Lorraine, along with everyone else, is thankful for how the technology of identifying library materials has progressed from stamps to barcodes to RFID (radio-frequency identification).
Here’s something else that’s changed. There were no holds back in the day. Hold on, what’s that? It’s true; however, there were “rental books” available for a charge.
When you walk into a Jeffco Library today, any one of our staff is available to answer questions and help. It was different back then, as Lorraine recalls. She is very clear that she was NOT a librarian, but rather a person who worked in the library. There was a clear division between librarians, circulation, researchers, etc. Staff members had distinctly separate functions and everything was done by the books (pun intended). Gladly, those lines have become blurred over the years!
Standley Lake is a hidden gem in the JCPL system. Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, this location has become a mainstay for patrons young and old. Lorraine fondly tells about one gentleman who visited the library often and befriended most of the staff. On his 90th birthday, his library family sent him a birthday card.
In addition, the children’s area was (and still is) a very special place. One year, a very creative librarian built a giant doghouse for kids to walk through as part of their Summer Reading program. What a wonderful way to get kids excited for reading!
Lorraine was on staff at Standley Lake for 22 years, and now volunteers once a week. You can take the girl out of the library, but you can’t take the library out of the girl. Here’s the best part of this story: After all these years, Lorraine remains very close to the people with whom she worked at Standley Lake. They even get together often for a lively game of Bunko!
Lorraine’s new title is “grandma” and she’s thrilled to introduce the joys of the Standley Lake Library to her next generation. Thank you to Lorraine and all the wonderful staff at Standley Lake who have made this a special neighborhood/community place for 25 years. Here’s to the next 25 years, and beyond.