From the Director - January/February 2014 | Richland Library Skip to content

From the Director - January/February 2014

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.

As we grow, trust drives every level of our engagement with our friends and our community. We share secrets with our BFF in hopes that that they will keep them. We meet the eyes of and smile at strangers on the street, trusting that their intentions are good. We choose spouses and partners and believe they will be with us in sickness and health. We make decisions about what organizations to give our money to because we trust that it will be put to good use. We vote for candidates because we trust them to keep their promises.

And I find it interesting that our ability to function in the world relies on our capacity to trust complete strangers. Nurses, postal workers, teachers, police officers, bankers, and others we rely on to do their jobs well, to meet our needs and keep us safe. While certainly trust can be earned, Ernest Hemingway said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” I like to think we do that every day at the library.

Opinion surveys rank libraries as one of these most trusted public institutions in the country. That makes sense. Trust is fundamental to our operating model. We buy lots of stuff, and trust people to borrow it, take care of it and bring it back. While we trust customers with our resources, they trust us with much, much more. People turn to us to research a health issue they’ve recently been diagnosed with. We are there when a parent needs help with their third grader who still struggles to read.

Customers come to us when they are new immigrants, when they want to finally get their high school diploma, make their way out of unemployment, or learn how to care for an aging parent. It is overwhelming and humbling to assist you with your important questions.

Thank you for trusting us.


Melanie Huggins, Executive Director


I just finishedService Design: from Insight to Implementation by Polane, Lovlie and Reason
I’m just starting: Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
I can’t stop listening to: Girlfriend, Matthew Sweet
You don’t want to miss: Learn THAT Dance for adults, 6:30 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, February 25 | Main

Read the full issue of Access.