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Library Look: Shirley Long, Bookshop volunteer, LaGrange Park Public Library

Shirley Long | Submitted by LaGrange Park Public Library
Shirley Long | Submitted by LaGrange Park Public Library

This edition of Library Look brings us LaGrange Park Public Library bookshop volunteer Shirley Long.

Q. How long have you been with the library?

A. I have been volunteering at the library for around six years. It all started when one day I was visiting friends who were working in the bookshop. Since I was just standing around, I started to help shelve books and do other things to help out. Before I knew what had happened, I was a volunteer, too!

Q. What is your favorite part of working at the library?

A. I enjoy meeting the customers. I have gotten to know some of them and their tastes in reading. Often, I see those same people in stores and around town. It gives me a sense of community, even though I’ve not lived here very long.

The biggest bonus I’ve gotten from volunteering has been a wonderful cadre of new friends, the other volunteers. I’ve gone to many lunches, plays and other activities with my new good friends outside of our library gigs.

Q. What is something library patrons may not know about you?

A. I took library science classes in college and worked as a special librarian for many years before switching to a health care career. I guess that is why I’m such a stickler for alphabetical order and neat shelves in the Bookshop.

Q. What do you think is an underused feature of the library?

A. I really enjoy audio books in any format. I may be retired, but I am always doing things with my hands and thus don’t have as much time to sit and read as I would like. The library has a great selection of CDs and MP3s both in fiction and nonfiction. Listening to a book, while doing a chore, makes light work of any task. I don’t see many other patrons in the audio section when I am picking out a book. I would hope I can convince some readers to become listeners as well.

Q. What is your favorite book and why?

A. I have always been interested in Abraham Lincoln since I was a child growing up in one of the towns where the Lincoln-Douglas debates took place. Thus, the book that has really fascinated me in recent years is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals.” This was the book on which the movie “Lincoln” was based. The movie was spellbinding, but there was so much more information in the book, including things about my hometown. The book has quite a hefty tone and I would still be reading it if I hadn’t listened to it on CDs.

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