How can I thank my awesome librarian?
December 18, 2015 6:48 AM   Subscribe

The librarian at my local library just alerted me to the fact a book I have been hunting for months is available in the library's small store. What's the best way to say thank you?

So, I wanted to give a bit of context, because this was kind of out of the blue. I moved to the other side of town in July, and started using the local library nearer my new place. It's a little smaller than the central location, but that's what interlibrary loans are for. I'd say I go in about 1-2 times a month, sometimes more, and have had pleasant interactions with the staff. It's not like, a Cheers situation where they know me by name, but we've had some nice conversations about my books and their habits. About a month ago, I'd ordered the Annotated Pioneer Girl from another library, and when I picked it up we chatted about it when I checked it out. I mentioned offhand that I'd been looking for a copy for a while, but it was hard to find at a decent price.

So, I was totally gobsmacked this week when one of the front desk staff left me a voice mail to let me know a copy was in the library's second-hand book shop, and that she'd put it on hold for me to purchase, if I wanted to. I cannot put into exact words how kind, wonderful and just above and beyond this was. She not only remembered our conversation- she must have dozens a day!- but thought of me, in such a nice way. It really meant a lot to me.

I haven't been able to reach her by phone- we played a bit of phone tag, and I haven't managed to catch her while she's working- though I did leave a thank you!!! message with one of the front desk staff that they passed along to her. I'd like to do something nice for her, in order to say thank you and express my gratitude, but I'm at a loss as to what.

I worked at the front desk of a library in college, and always appreciated being brought cookies & snacks by grateful college students, but I don't know if she has any food allergies or would even want food prepared by a patron. I also don't want to make it weird by giving her a gift card, because I'm technically buying the book and it feels too- I don't know, bribe-y?

What's the best way to say thank you?
posted by Torosaurus to Human Relations (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A nice card for her, and a letter for the Branch Manager, letting her know that they've got one fantastic employee.
posted by PearlRose at 6:54 AM on December 18, 2015 [16 favorites]

A simple thank you note is more than enough.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:55 AM on December 18, 2015

Pearl Rose has it. A card or nice email for the librarian and a note to the branch manager. These sorts of things help at review time.
posted by kendrak at 7:02 AM on December 18, 2015 [3 favorites]

Seconding "effusive praise for the librarian delivered to her higher-ups." Not enough people do this!
posted by duffell at 7:02 AM on December 18, 2015 [5 favorites]

If the library has a social media presence, a public kudos on there would be great, too. You don't need to give the full story, but just say thanks to the library and staff member for going above and beyond. That's the best kind of publicity.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 7:06 AM on December 18, 2015 [4 favorites]

Social media thank you or even possibly a letter to the editor if you live in that sort of place. We're in the process of asking for a raise for our small-town librarians and examples of them going "above and beyond" to provide customized service to our patrons are useful when we do things like this.
posted by jessamyn at 7:19 AM on December 18, 2015 [5 favorites]

Another vote for thanking her (I think in person is fine, whenever you see her next), but sending a note of appreciation to the branch manager and a letter to the editor of your local paper. When public libraries lose funding, it's often because the public undervalues the services they provide--so your fellow townspeople might like to know this about their library.
posted by witchen at 7:28 AM on December 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Does the library have a foundation or "Friends of" organization? Supporting the library's work with your time as a volunteer or a donation to their book fund might be a nice way to show your gratitude.
posted by underthehat at 7:33 AM on December 18, 2015

Seconding a letter to the editor calling out the spectacular service and the need for sustainable funding. Providing a public comment like that is GOLD for libraries to point to later as they're constantly having to defend themselves against funding cuts in public forum.
posted by veery at 7:54 AM on December 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

A card and a note to the manager are a great idea.

Thinking of food or a gift card is lovely, but if it's anything like my library, employees can't accept gifts unless they can be shared with the whole staff. Bringing in something that can't be shared might put her in the awkward position of having to refuse your thank you gift.
posted by darchildre at 1:13 PM on December 18, 2015

You could also see if the library accepts cash donations, and maybe make one in her honor?
posted by hetobeto at 3:46 PM on December 18, 2015

If you're the gift-giving type give her a book related Christmas tree ornament. A tiny book or a reading kitten or some such.
posted by irisclara at 11:39 PM on December 20, 2015

Campaigning in favor of funding for libraries next time it comes up on the ballot in your town.
posted by yohko at 3:58 PM on December 23, 2015

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