News Category: Breaking News
The City of Pleasanton rests on the shoulders of many dedicated and diverse community members. Many of them often go uncredited for the positivity and creative spirit that they bring to Pleasanton on a day to day basis. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to speak with one of them. Ms. Teresa Parham, the Senior Teen Librarian, shared her extradionary journey with us as well as her thoughts for the future. “I came about librarianship in a very roundabout way — sometimes, I’m surprised and pinching myself that I do what I get to do.” Ms. Parham started her career as an aspiring actress and artist. After completing a bachelor’s of FINE arts degree at Rhode Island College, she decided to direct her talent in a different direction. “I went to the University of Alabama and ended up getting my master’s degree in library science.” Ms. Parham was initially a librarian for a small library (Alum Rock, San Jose) in a large Santa Clara County library system where she gained significant experience. It was years later that she made the shift to our much larger facility in Pleasanton. “I’ve been the librarian here ever since.”
When I asked Ms. Parham about the challenges she faces on the job, she emphasized the duality that comes with our library’s robust and busy work environment. “I love being able to help people, and when I can’t…that’s when I get really frustrated.” Yet at the same time, the success that comes with Ms. Parham’s love for people often flips the script. “The other day, a grandpa came looking for fairy books, and the children’s department was very chaotic. You know, we were trying to clean, put things away…And here comes this guy, looking for fairy books for his granddaughter. Just being able to help him, to put the right book in someone’s hand — it really flipped it for me, and it reminded me [of why] I do this.”
Although she agrees that the walls of our current library building have served us well, Ms. Parham advocates for a different, larger library — one that can accomodate the needs of our growing community. Her final words for the people of Pleasanton are to “embrace the change.” Those are certainly apt words coming from a woman who was willing to change her career, change universities, change states — all the while developing and practicing a diverse set of skills. “It’s different every day, and that’s why I love it.”
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