Librarian of 30 years shares importance of National Library Week

Librarian of 30 years shares importance of National Library Week
Susan Gerhart (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
Susan Gerhart (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - It's National Library Week, but do you really know what your local library has to offer?

Susan Gerhart works in one of the 13 library branches in Calcasieu Parish.

Serving as a librarian for more than 30 years, KPLC's Erica Bivens explains that Gerhart's first time working in a library was during high school.

"And I shelved books for the Calcasieu Parish public library system at a whole wonderful salary of $0.75 an hour," laughed Gerhart.

While salaries have changed, Gerhart's love for libraries has not. A librarian for more than 30 years, Gerhart takes after her mother.

"She just instilled in me a love of libraries, reading, and having these things free so you can enjoy them and expand your knowledge," said Gerhart.

And because it's National Library Week, what better time than now to learn what your local library has to offer. That includes computers, internet, audio books, video games, movies and CDs. You can also print.

Plus, Gerhart says, "You can check out laptops and take them home."

They even have specialty cake pans for check-out.

And while technology has changed over the years, so have libraries, as they've gone from hard cover books to 3D printing, they stay up to date on the changes.

"Libraries will never be a thing of the past. We try to keep up with technology as much as we can," said Christy Duhon, Public Information Officer for Calcasieu Parish Public Libraries.

Different programs are also available.

"We have programs from pre-k kids up to senior citizens," added Duhon.

But you don't even need to visit the library anymore to use its resources.

"We are making it so easy you can go to the library's website to get your library card, to access our databases, to check out electronic books, all of that from home, without ever stepping inside of a library," said Gerhart.

And while libraries are beneficial, Gerhart says her favorite part is working in them.

"Every day I am challenged to learn something new, to expand my knowledge, so I can pass it onto somebody else," said Gerhart.

In 10 years, Gerhart says she probably won't be working at a library anymore but definitely plans to continue using its resources.

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