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From the Director

Melanie Huggins
Executive Director of Richland Library

Thanks for using Richland Library. Regardless of how you use library resources or services, I want to be certain you find the library to be useful, usable and enjoyable!

Take a moment to search the catalog, download e-books, music and more or find a staff pick for you or your child’s next read. You can also find information on programs and art exhibits, or read insightful updates written by our library team.

The library's bimonthly magazine, Access, includes my column, where I get to share stories, give reading recommendations and simply share my love of libraries. I hope the pieces inspire, inform and entertain you!

From the Director

Dear Readers,
In the last issue, I shared how our experiences as customers are shaped before we even interact with a company or product. For example, before you take that first bite at a restaurant, you’ve been influenced by feedback from others, a website or even the parking lot. Here's a story of how an experience can still be good, even when a part of it is bad.

Dear Friends:
Earlier this year, I got the chance to speak at TedX Columbia. I was thrilled to be part of a group of thoughtful and talented speakers and performers, but I was even more excited to help spread ideas on a topic that I am truly passionate about—the importance of customer experience.
Unlike other businesses (but not unlike many nonprofits), libraries don’t create a product. We only create experiences. If we want to create great experiences for our users, we have to think differently about how and where our customers interact with us.  

Dear Friends:

Partnerships are hard. If you’ve ever been in a relationship, a marriage or have a close friend, you know what I’m talking about. Put two people together and ask them to work towards a common goal and there’s bound to be tension. But what if it’s not just two people but whole organizations with complex systems and processes trying to work together towards solving community problems?

From the moment we’re born, naked and helpless, we depend on others. As babies, we cry when we need something, and when those wails are met with the soothing voice and comforting embrace of a parent, a bond is formed. We feel secure and come to believe that our needs will be met and that we’re not alone. And so begins what I think might be the most important feeling we’re capable of as humans: Trust.

Am I the only one who feels like the older I get, the faster time passes? A cursory Google search on the topic let me know I am not. As it turns out, there are complex mathematical formulas that describe what I—and many others—are experiencing. Indeed, as we age and our lives become more routine, our knowledge of the world grows and time appears to speed up. The decades feel like years, years like months and so on. This explains why the events of the past year seem like a blur.