Curiosity still inspires Eastpointe Library manager – Macomb Daily

Eastpointe Memorial Library director Sue Todd admits to being an extremely curious person.

It is this thirst for knowledge, coupled with positive interactions with other local librarians, that has led Todd to his 35-year career.

“If I have a question about something, I’ll take the time to look it up,” Todd said. “To this day, I’m still a very curious person.”

Todd grew up attending the Roseville Public and Guest Junior High School libraries. Always an avid reader, she not only loved fiction as a child, but also went to the library to find answers to the many questions she had about what seemed like a million different things.

Although the internet offers a plethora of information on every topic imaginable, leading some to believe that libraries are obsolete, Todd argues that this National Library Week they are needed more than ever. Library technology has changed over the years, but the role of the librarian has not changed.

“We’ve always been the place to go to find out from a trusted source what’s fact and what’s fiction,” Todd said. “In today’s society, there is so much information available. Depending on the source, there may be a view or a tilted angle, but at the library we have several resources and can verify them.

Todd always enjoys helping customers find information. No question is considered insignificant.

“So often customers come in and say, ‘I know that’s a dumb question’ but if it’s something someone needs to know, it’s not a dumb question,” Todd said. “Even if someone calls to check the spelling of a word, I think that’s fine, because it means they see us as a resource. The librarians answer the simplest and most complex questions and you learn a lot from the users. That’s the beauty of the job: you never know what people are going to ask for and what you’re going to find on the shelf. »

Connecting people to programs, books, information and each other is something that is a crucial part of the librarian’s job and a goal of National Library Week.

“We just had a cookie demo program and we had 35 men and women who participated in it,” Todd said. “After the presentation, they were all chatting and it was the program that brought them together and drew them to the library.”

Many of Todd’s pages and volunteers have become librarians. Photo of Eastpointe Memorial Library

Throughout his career, Todd has mentored many young librarians. Most start out as volunteers or pages and find they are suited for the job. Emily Brush started as a part-time library page at the Eastpointe Memorial Library and is currently the Early Literacy Librarian at the Novi Public Library.

“Sue is absolutely the reason I became a librarian,” Brush said. “She planted the seed when I was very young and she was there with me the whole way.”

Warren Civic Center Outreach Librarian Julianne Novetsky and Marathon County Library Director Leah Giordano were also mentored by Todd.

“All of them started out as pages and none of them thought they would get into this career,” Todd said. “Sometimes you see potential in someone and give them opportunities.”

Every once in a while, Todd unknowingly impacts someone’s career path.

“I had a page where I really had no idea she was interested in becoming a librarian,” Todd said. “Then one day I walked into the Detroit Public Library and there she was. It’s been such a rewarding job for me and it’s been equally rewarding to see others get into it and do it so well.

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So what does it take to be a librarian in today’s world? According to Todd, it takes the same qualities as when he started his career 35 years ago. A librarian must like people, be curious and follow trends.

“You have to be a people person because you have to connect with customers,” Todd said. “You get to know their reading preferences and that helps you keep up with trends in fiction and non-fiction and can also help you when planning programs. You should always think about the customer’s point of view and their needs. »

Like many libraries, the Eastpointe Memorial Library building was closed for three months during the COVID pandemic. Todd and his staff made adjustments and began offering weekly delivery of library materials to residents twice a week. Seeing that there was a need for Wi-Fi hotspots, Todd applied for and received a grant that allowed the library to provide them to residents.

With the building’s closure, Todd thinks residents may have become more aware of the remote access to services and materials that are available to anyone with a library card.

“It’s amazing to me that people are downloading books from Amazon and they don’t know we have this,” Todd said. “We also have a tutoring database with real teachers that is underutilized. Any child who needs tutoring can access it from home and get the help they need. Someone can even write an article and submit it for comments to the tutor, who is a certified teacher.

The library may no longer be where kids study or where people go to access out-of-town newspapers, but Todd says people still see the library as a place welcoming.

“The library is always considered a safe place for anyone to come,” Todd said. “It’s going to be quiet – although the children’s programs are a little louder – and a lot of people still have a positive opinion of the library.”

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