The faces of PCPL: Circulation
Theirs are the first faces you’ll see when you walk into the Putnam County Public Library. They live behind that long desk where you can check out books, hopefully return them and, if you don’t, pay your late fees.
“We consider ourselves the face of the library,” Conni Wrightsman, director of the circulation department, said. “I think everybody who works here does it because they want to help.”
If you spend any time in the library, you’re bound to meet Mickie Peck, Ellen Harris, Andrea Mustaine and their fearless director. There are also two shelvers, Ester Hale and Stepany Zhivotovsky, who make sure books are where they’re supposed to be.
Although you’re most likely to see them at the circulation desk, these ladies do more than the checking out and the shelving away. The circulation department is how the library wakes up, unlocking the doors, setting out newspapers, checking the book drops.
Wrightsman and her crew run the adult reading summer and winter reading programs, and they also make a point to point out what’s available at the library.
“I don’t think people know we have audiobooks, music, games,” Wrightsman said. “In the summer we have bikes for people to check out.”
And if you can’t come to circulation, they’ll send Jill Hawk on regular visits to you with books and other materials.
But the best part of circulation’s job is maintaining Olly the Book Gnome. He’s not always around, but you can sometimes finding him reading behind the little door just to the right of the main library entrance.
“I love almost everything about my area of the library,” Wrightsman said. “I’m always busy. I always have something to do. There’s something weird or funny every day. That, and the patrons. We talk about books, and they ask about my kids and I ask about theirs.”