My main task at the Topsham Public Library is to cover the circulation desk. I welcome patrons as they enter, I help people find items they are looking for, I check in items and I check out items, I answer questions, and if I can’t answer their questions, I find someone who can. I also get to witness the children as the enter the library. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the children are eager to be here. Some enter shyly and quietly, while others make their presence known with an exuberant “Hi!” Invariably they will head for the fish tank, and then on to the train table. While making their way to the children’s section, I can hear the children talking to their parents, and one hundred percent of the time I hear them ask about Mariah hoping she is here.
Mariah is the most loved of our staff members. The children love her, the parents love her, her co-workers love her. If you haven’t figured it out, Mariah is the Children’s Librarian and I am not exaggerating when I say, the Topsham Public Library is blessed to have her.
Mariah is sincere in her concern for children and their development, and she is passionate about the role libraries play in a child’s growth. Mariah, weekly, has three story times geared to three different age groups. She also facilitates a book group for older children in grades 4 and 5; plus, she runs parent-child workshops and organizes other monthly programs for children.
But there is so much more to Mariah than what we witness here at the Topsham Public Library, and that is what I’m interested in!
When Mariah is not here and not in class (she is working on her Masters of Library Science), she might be found playing gigs with her bands. She plays guitar, piano, recorder, bass, mandolin, and doumbek AND she sings! If you are available, her band, Steamboat Gypsy, is playing an event at Fort Andross this Friday, December 18 from 6pm-8pm, and it is open to the public.
Like the rest of us, she loves to read, and her first favorite book she remembers is A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mariah prefers nonfiction to fiction, but will take mystery over romance and drama instead of sci-fi. She would rather hold the book in her hands then read it with an e-reader.
As far as food goes, Mariah enjoys eat-in more than take-out. After much pondering, and perhaps changing her mind a time or two, Mariah would take vanilla over chocolate and cake over pie. Salad instead of soup, scrambled over fried, and mexican food before chinese food.
Mariah picks country over city and ocean over mountains; Apple over android, ukulele instead of accordion, and she prefers antique to new. And she one of her favorite sounds is the sound of rain. Mariah would choose Jason Bourne over James Bond and Superman over Batman. If she had a super power, she would like to read minds instead of being invisible. As well as her musical interests, Mariah also enjoys crafting, cooking, and participating in yoga on her off time. It was only under duress that she chose singing over dancing when I made her choose.
Mariah, usually very calm, friendly, and professional, can be giddy at times. And what would make her lose all sense of decorum, you ask? Mariah loves costumes and dressing up in costumes and Halloween just about sends her over the edge with anticipation and excitement. Mariah plans her costume weeks in advance!
When asked what she would do if she didn’t have to concern herself with cost, she said she would travel first to Ireland and then somewhere tropical. She also prefers Paris to London. When asked who she would invite to dinner if she could invite anyone in the whole world, she asked, “Would it be tacky if I said, my family?”
What I find most surprising in the most pleasantest of ways, is her answer to my question, “What profession would you be if you were not a librarian or a musician?” She said she would own a cake shop. I totally see her doing this! Mariah, whether in the kitchen or while crafting, can take a bunch of ingredients, or odds and ends, or bits and baubles, or notes and chords and make something beautiful.