‘My mantra is to provide excellent customer service’

Some of our staff celebrating service anniversaries (pictured left to right): Colleen White, Debby Preiser, Rashmi Swain, Jenny Byron, and Kelly Knowles

“Every time I walk through the doors of the library, the mantra I keep in my mind is: ‘To provide excellent customer service,'” says Rashmi Swain, Adult Education and Job Seekers Librarian.

With 15 years of service to the library, Swain (pictured above, center) is among those celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. She and other colleagues will be recognized on Friday, December 6, during the library’s twice-annual Staff Engagement Day.

Library opens late on Friday, December 6

Staff Engagement Day is an opportunity for all staff to get together in one place, twice a year, to learn and connect with one another, says Director of Human Resources Billy Treece. That’s no easy task for a library with 140 employees, most of whom are part time, spread across three buildings that are open most days of the week.

To allow staff this opportunity, the Main Library and Dole Branch will open late on Friday, December 6, at 2 pm. Maze Branch remains closed, as it is every Friday.

‘I’m glad to give back to the community’

Swain says she always feels energized after Staff Engagement Day. The chance to exchange ideas and strengthen relationships with her coworkers carry over into her work: organizing job seminars, leading book discussions, helping people learn technology, and more. “I enjoy the variety of work I do,” she says. “And I’m delighted to report that 45 job seekers have found jobs after using library resources and services.”

Other staff celebrating milestones include Adult Programming Specialist Debby Preiser (pictured, second from left), who has worked with authors and artists for 25 years at the library. For her, Staff Engagement Day is a great way to get to know new staff members. “And you leave feeling appreciated,” she says.

Coming in at 30 years of service is Children’s Services Library Assistant Jenny Byron (second from right). She’s worked in libraries since she was in high school. And as someone who grew up and lives in Oak Park, “I’m glad to give back to the community,” Byron says.

Staff members celebrating service anniversaries

Staff MemberDepartmentYears of Service
Jenny ByronChildren’s Services30
Jean ThomsenAccess Services30
Debby PreiserAdult Services25
Rashmi SwainAdult Services15
Pedro DiazFacilities10
Colleen WhiteMaterials Services10
Kelly KnowlesAccess Services10
Ron VercnockeFacilities10
Lauren CooperNeighborhood Services5
Elizabeth MarszalikCollections & Technology5
Amy HofmockelAdult Services5
Katherine EggersdorfAccess Services5