How many of you remember where you were in March of 1979?
I do. I was a senior at Iowa State University planning my future. My world was all about me. All me all the time.
For people who use the Indianola Public Library, March 1979 marked the beginning of Alice Gaumer’s 35 years of service.
Alice started as a part-time employee, moving to full-time in 1981. She became the Assistant Director in 1998.
Her time at the Library comes to an end on June 30; her position a victim of the recent budget cuts.
I can tell you from personal experience that Alice has never had an “all me all the time” moment in her years at the Library.
Need someone to fill in for a sick co-worker? Alice’s hand is the first to go up.
Need someone to take over a story time while a co-worker is on vacation? Alice is the one to ask.
Need someone to start a new program with children reading to dogs? Or for developmentally disabled adults? Without hesitating, Alice volunteers.
Can’t handle plunging the clogged toilet? You guessed it – Alice will do it. Willingly. And without complaint.
In fact, so often has Alice’s hand been the first one up that I have resorted to looking past it to give others the “chance” to help out.
Her main purpose has been to provide the best service possible to the people who use the Library. For some people a job is a job. For Alice this job has been a calling.
She told me once that the Library ranked third on her list of priorities – after her family and her faith. Not many people can say that about the place they go to work every day.
The Library Board of Trustees and the staff of the Indianola Public Library are planning a “Celebrate Alice” party on Tuesday, June 24 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. I hope you can join us in celebrating what this remarkable woman has done for the institution she holds so dear.
In true Alice fashion, she would rather this be a celebration of the Library’s 130th anniversary. I can think of no better way to celebrate the latter than by honoring the former.
If you can’t come but would like to share an Alice memory or just thank her, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.