DOBSON — A 16-year veteran of the Dobson Community Library has been named branch librarian of the facility. Mount Airy native Cindy Brannock, who has been serving in libraries since her elementary school days, has accepted the post.
Brannock explained she started out at the Dobson Library on a part-time basis and worked at a variety of other jobs along the way, including an eight-year tour at Walmart in Mount Airy as cashier and in the layaway department.
“Honestly, I have always wanted to work as a librarian,” said Brannock. She recalled beginning work in the school library at B. H. Tharrington Primary School and later working with Librarian Jo Anne Marshall at Mount Airy Junior High. Later Brannock served for years in the Berea College Library in Berea Kentucky while attending the school.
“I think I naturally moved into working in a library because I just liked school,” remembered Brannock. “It was through the example of teachers that I gravitated to the work.”
Brannock said her favorite part of the job is working with patrons.
“I enjoy books but what I like most is the people,” explained Brannock. “In a public library you get a wide variety of types of people. I like children a lot because I’m a big kid but I also like working with old and young groups. I especially enjoy doing a lot of outreach at local daycares.
“We as libraries have kept attracting patrons, but we are also trying to stay up to date on all the new social media,” said Brannock. “For instance, everyone has a cell phone so everyone has a camera. We try to stay up on what’s trending and try to bring the community in with interesting things. We’re learning as they are learning.”
She said one trend she has seen this past year is middle generations who have not used computers using the library as a resource. Brannock said librarians are not only supplying information from books but providing technology information.
“I’m proud that libraries are doing things like workshops to help,” said Brannock. “Libraries are so much more about community programming now and getting communities to come together. The days of the old ‘shush’ and be quiet attitude is giving way to libraries becoming a gathering place to share ideas.”
Brannock said she felt part of this is driven by technology which causes people to miss out on a social aspect of life. She said one of the biggest changes she has seen recently in her work is helping older patrons learn to use computers to apply for employment.
“We have to do a lot more crash courses for our customers,” added Brannock. “There is a human connection that is made here. People have questions.”
As for any criticism she’s taken for being a librarian? Brannock is characteristically upbeat.
“The most ribbing I have ever gotten is when I got my eyeglasses,” said Brannock. “Everybody suddenly started saying oh, now you look like a librarian. A lot of them still say I’m too loud to work in a library because they think you have to be super quiet.”
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.