GPL has had many changes over the past 18 months. New areas are being created to accommodate more quiet study, the Children’s room has been joined with Teenburgh to create a new Youth Services department and several new staff members have been hired to replace long-time associates that have retired.
Cristina Ramos Payne is not technically a new staff member, although you are probably seeing more of her now that she has joined the full-time staff. Cristina has worked here for almost five years as a part-time clerk in both the Children’s room and at the circulation desk. Over the years she has been an exceptional employee creating wonderful window and bulletin board displays in the Youth Services area and helping patrons with checking in and out materials. Cristina also has many wonderful memories of bringing her young children to story time and making use of all the resources the library has to offer. As a homeschooling parent the library was a vital part of her children’s education while growing up.
Cristina did not start out in libraries. When she was younger she and her husband were street performers practicing juggling and other circus arts in public spaces. Over the years, Cristina was able to transform these talents into workshops that she provided for the local public schools and, of course, for the library. When she began working for the library part-time she was able to continue providing workshops and art displays; enhancing children’s services.
Now, five years later, Cristina’s circumstances have changed. “I have three children the youngest is 16 and finished with her high school studies. I was now available to take on full-time work. I always knew I wanted to be working here at the library. I feel like this is a great library where so much is offered, between materials to look at and programs to attend. The staff is so creative and comes up with interesting things to offer the community.” When a full-time position opened up in the Circulation department Cristina was already a valued member of the GPL team and part of the Civil Service pool of candidates, that the library was able to offer her full-time work.
Cristina does not get to do as much artwork for the library as she used to, but finds other creative outlets outside the work environment. “I am currently working on a group project called the ‘Arc of the Moral Universe’. This personal notebook project entails doing some form of artwork every day that reflects your thoughts on a selected theme. The theme was chosen by professor, Carla Rae Johnson from WCC. When finished, the notebooks will be displayed publicly in a space yet to be determined.”
When asked if she misses working in the Youth Services department she responds “I miss helping children find books that interest them. Most of my life has been working with kids so it is new for me to be working with mostly adults. However, I still enjoy helping people and learning new things. Learning new things keeps my mind engaged.”
Cristina is currently reading Revenge of the Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen.