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“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”   ~Maya Angelou

We all have certain expectations when we go somewhere to find information and get help. We want our questions to matter and leave with some kind of answers. Everyone has been in that situation, and there is nothing more frustrating than having a person help you that seems hurried or annoyed to be of assistance.

Harris County Libraries are more than buildings with shelves of books; they are a place where people can go to search, learn, and get answers. This is how lives are enriched, not just through education but by the relationships that are formed in the process. This spotlight is about someone who exemplifies this.

Cindy Groover is a reference librarian at the Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library. She has been greeting everyone with a smile and warm hello since June of 1999. She also teaches ESL to community members, has classes to prepare people for citizenship, and handles prison reference. In addition to that, before the pandemic, Cindy would host food programs throughout the year, featuring dishes from specific cultures that she cooked herself. It was always a big hit with the community and the staff too!

Cindy at the circulation desk and holding her cat Fleetwood.

Cindy is a librarian that wears many hats when it comes to the many things she does, but she actually does wear a hat daily, and is endearingly known as the “hat lady." In the course of her busy day, Cindy always acknowledges everyone that comes through the door and offers assistance if they have any questions. She takes the time to search thoroughly to find information and provides other options when a direct answer cannot be found. In essence, her actions are the epitome of awesome customer service.

Cindy at a food program and teaching ESL.

So, it is no wonder that when people come into the library for the first time in years, they always remember Cindy, the hat lady. These patrons always have a smile on their faces when they speak of her. Cindy has truly left a lasting mark on those that have come through the library doors, and her ESL students are some of her biggest fans!

I asked Cindy what was one of her more memorable experiences as a librarian, and what she loved most about her job. She said, “My most rewarding experience serving the public was during the hurricane disasters, Katrina and Harvey.” She went on to say, “I assisted hurricane Katrina victims in finding a list of organizations that helped displaced people from the hurricane. Then in Harvey, I assisted victims by helping them navigate the Texas unemployment website.”. In response to the second question, she said, “My favorite duty that is part of my position is Research by Mail. The library administration sends letters from prisoners who have research questions. I feel especially rewarded serving a group of people, who have no access to the internet for research purposes.”

So, there you have it, Cindy is a librarian with a heart for helping and that is what makes her such an integral part of the Baldwin Boettcher Library staff! You can’t help but admire that kind of dedication, and that is why she is so loved by loyal patrons past and present. May is Cindy’s birthday month, so feel free to comment and share memories of your experiences with her, or just give her wonderful wishes for a birthday as amazing as her. Better yet, come by the Little Blue Library in Mercer Gardens and tell her face to face.  The Baldwin Boettcher Library looks forward to seeing you all soon!

Now for all you lovers of books and librarians, here are a few books about just that:

Click on each book for more details in the catalog.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

 

The Library of Lost and Found

 

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

 

The Librarian of Auschwitz

 

The Library of the Unwritten

 

 

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