This is me… I work on the web
Ten years ago I struggled after a lifetime loss. I sold home. I bought my first computer. And then I moved in online.
You may have chatted me once upon a time if you called yourself grape popsicle or wolfe or amber, my twin. I wrote html fashioned dresses whose code would often break as I slipped into the room and scooted into my favorite booth… opposite the door. It made us laugh alot, me and my cyber friends.
I was happy living here online… 99% of the time…
We role-played in a tattooed and pierced room that turned into a medieval tower overnight and later morphed into a country bar complete with bartender. Our community, even then, was ever changing. Relationships were made… some strange and some endearing. I traveled virtually every night to Singapore and visited Baltimore with chat friends for the time of my life in reality.
Within a year the most special relationship developed. He moved from across the country and we have been together in work and play and life and love ever since.
My day job is all about building relationships too now. I work on the web so that customers and team members may have a valuable personal experience with our services. I train and encourage and support them all to play on the web as they work so that they may know and understand each other and our community better.
It doesn’t stop when I come home. There is no quitting time. Work on the web becomes play again as I explore and teach myself more. The html skills once used to design pretty dresses lay the foundation for new communities to build. I experiment with all sorts of social networking in order to not grow too old.
As the family matriarch and company employee with the most longevity it is my responsibility to show everyone else how important it is to be play and be happy as they work on the web.
Oh… and I am happy 100% of the time now… for really.
for more career bio, here is a press release from April 27, 2006…
But McCracken County Public Library’s youth services manager, Iris Shreve Garrott, was honored for her outstanding contributions to the development and promotion of public library service on the local level when the Kentucky Public Library Association presented Garrott the Margaret F. Willis Outstanding Community Library Service Award. The tribute was presented to her at the KPLA’s annual conference in Louisville in April, 2006.
“It is so thrilling to know that the library’s dedication to our community is recognized across the state,” said Garrott. “Our services and programs are entertaining, educating and delightful, and so has been my experience over the past 20 years.”
“It is a great honor to be recognized by the Kentucky Public Library Association,” said library director Marie Liang. In 1999, for instance, Mary Ann Mongan, retiring director of the third-largest library system in the state, Kenton County, was a recipient of the Willis Award for her 41 years of service.
As Liang stated in a nomination letter, Garrott deserved such an honor because she is “driven by her passion for and dedication to the values of public libraries: free access to books, movies, ideas and information for all.”
Under Garrott’s leadership, last year nearly 15,000 people attended children’s programming from the library, up from 5,740 in 1986, when Garrott was hired by the library’s then director Tom Sutherland.
In those 20 years, Garrott has built the youth collection piece by piece, adding books, graphic novels, magazines, audiobooks, DVDs and video games. As a result, circulation of these materials has increased 266 percent.
“I appreciate Tom Sutherland taking a chance on me 20 years ago,” said Garrott, who emphatically stressed the support she’s received from the library board and Liang. “I haven’t done this by myself,” said Garrott. “It’s truly a youth services effort and a library effort for this community.”
In 2003, Garrott implemented an innovative Young Adult Media Bar, a diner-style space in the library with five Playstation2 systems that encourage youth to spend more time at the library. The unique area has resulted in kids becoming customers, and patrons becoming fans of the library. The YAM Bar is a model for other libraries across the state.
“You get these fantasies in your head and you think, ‘wow, how cool would it be if we could offer XYZ, this amazing new service,” Garrott said, “because you see the need.”
Liang described Garrott as very forward-thinking and credited her careful planning and research with the realization of such innovative concepts.
“Some of these ideas are so radical. That YAM Bar? Graphic novels? Games? Just unheard of,” Liang said.
She noted that partnerships with community organizations like Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, and Boys and Girls clubs are key to the success of many of Garrott’s innovative programs and ideas.
Garrott also has worked tirelessly outside the walls of McCracken County Public Library. She has helped develop collections at the Oscar Cross Boys and Girls Clubs, the Charles Moss Child Development Center and the McCracken Regional Juvenile Detention Center. She initiated a Merry Reading program to provide books to children during the holiday season. In November, a Newborn Literacy Project was coordinated by Garrott in partnership with the Rotary Club of Paducah. It provides babies born at both local hospitals a package of books, reading tips and library information.
Margaret Willis was president of the Kentucky Library Association from 1953-1954 and state librarian from 1954 to 1972. She placed an emphasis on county public library service. The purpose of the award is to recognize achievements by certified county and regional library staff who are accomplished in library service, community service, library programming, community support and professional development.