Andie Apple, once a worker for the Beale Memorial Library, was appointed head director of the library. She started off shelving books and worked her way up into the position she is in today.
“I definitely have a passion for library services and resources in the communities that we serve. I’ve been to other libraries over my 20 years, but this is where I got my start in 1997,” said Apple.
As the head director, there are certain amount of duties that come with the job. Some duties that were mentioned by Apple included dealing with personnel, media, budget, and staffing. “It’s the typical duties that one can assume,” said Apple.
When asked if she was ready for this important position as head director, Apple confidently said that she was absolutely prepared. She had been an interim director for nine months until they appointed her permanently as the head director.
“When I started off as an aid, it was a job that I needed when I was going to college, and I worked 20 hours in the library and 20 hours a week on campus. I never really saw myself, in 20 years, sitting at where I am today,” said Apple.
Apple’s favorite part of working in a library is informing people like residents, citizens, county and/ or city workers about the resources that they have and that are available for free to the public. She mentions that they’re still amazed with everything the library has to offer and sometimes is astounded by the amount of programming they do around the county. In fact, she comments that in only two months, over the summer, they had 2200 events and a lot of them were STEM or STEAM focused. Even with this new position, there is one disadvantage.
“In every position, there’s always something different to learn, to like, and to love. So over the years, that’s obviously evolved. I’m not on the floor anymore, so I don’t have direct contact with our customers as much as I used to and I really miss that aspect. Though, during the summer and summer reading, I tend to go down stairs and interact with the families because that’s where, at least, I can get that connection,” said Apple.
With the advancement in technology, books can now be read on any smartphone device using applications such as iBooks or EBooks from Amazon. This might be a good or bad thing, but using EBooks or physical books is something Apple balances out personally. She stated that last year there was a study that came out that stated that the use of EBooks went down 12 percent and the use of physical printed books increased.
“I use both just depending if I’m traveling. If I’m traveling, I use an EBook. Though my preference is to turn the page and to feel the page. I get that a lot from people that they prefer to feel the book. It’s just so hard to carry a stack of books with you when you’re traveling,” said Apple.
Apple’s been told over her 20 years of being a librarian that she’s not the typical librarian.
“They have told me, ‘You’re not reserved’ or ‘You’re not quiet.’ I think not being that has helped me spread the services that we have. It’s allowed me to go out into the community and have those honest conversations. Not everybody is good at public speaking, but I love that aspect. I have forced myself over the years to do it and now I’m so comfortable with it. It doesn’t bother me. So to me, that’s a personal accomplishment is forcing myself like a decade ago to do that,” said Apple.
Apple mentioned that there are two colleges in the state of California where one can get their masters in library information science and those two colleges are San Jose State and UCLA. Anybody can enter into the MLIS (Masters Library Information Science) program with any bachelor’s degree.
“I suggest they go into web design or technology because as is any business or organization in this day in age you need that foundation. You need to have a website, you need to have a social media person, you have to have a marketing person. There’s jobs like that an average person may not know that we utilize that skill set to help spread our word,” said Apple.
For people who want to have a library card, Apple mention that all a person needs is a photo ID, and the first card is free.
“I would encourage students to check out their local library or volunteer. I think they would be amazed at the variety of events and resources that we offer the community. It’s a way for them to connect if they want to volunteer an hour or two shelving a week or helping with programming, we would be more than happy to have that conversation with any of the BC students,” said Apple.