Above from left: Library staff member Margaret Meetsma and Library Director Isabelle Cramp marked 20 years with the Morinville Community Library in February. The long-time employees enjoy the day-to-day changes of serving their patrons. – Stephen Dafoe Photo
by Stephen Dafoe
Two long-time Morinville Community Library staff members marked an important milestone in February. Library Director Isabelle Cramp and Library staff member Margaret Meetsma celebrated 20 years on the job.
Cramp started her journey with the Library on Feb. 4, 2003, and Meetsma joined the staff a day later, on Feb. 5, 2003.
“It feels like I blinked,” Cramp said of the past two decades. “It doesn’t feel like 20 years, quite frankly. The Library keeps you so busy. It’s never boring. There are always challenges and things happening. Time flies.”
For Meetsma, who started at the Library as a volunteer before becoming an employee, the past 20 years flew by like it was only five.
“It’s been amazing,” she said of the experience. “Where can you have a job that every day you have something different happen? If you have an office job, you can go in and do the same thing every day. [Here] Every half an hour, you are doing something different, which is amazing for a job.”
Job duties are one of many things that have changed since 2003. Cramp said when she started, the Library was considerably smaller than it is today and a little slower-paced.
“It was very much different in terms of pace and the amount of technology we used back then,” Cramp said. “But otherwise, the heart of the Library is still the same. Our focus is still the same; what can we do for the community and the residents?”
Meetsma said one of the noteworthy changes is the use of computers in the Library, which was just getting started at the Library in 2003. Today, most aspects of the librarian’s job utilize computers, and public computer use continues to increase both in the Library and for some of the programs, including Minecraft.
But adaptation, be it technology or programming, is part of what has occurred over the last 20 years and beyond. It is something Cramp said the Library and its staff constantly do.
Both Meetsma and Cramp see the people on both sides of the checkout desk as a highlight of their work, and both appreciate working in an environment where all the staff get along well together.
Although many staff and patron’s faces have changed over two decades, many have not. Long-time library users are teaching a new generation to value the offerings.
“We meet so many people from the community. The kids that used to be teenagers when we started—they’re now bringing their children in,” Meetsma said. “And the adults then are now bringing their grandchildren.
Cramp added that some former young patrons are now published authors who have shared their work with the Library and its patrons.
For Cramp, the joys are twofold; her dedicated staff and the excellent work they do, and the Library’s ability to maximize available resources to offer the materials and programs they do.
“I’m very lucky that we have a fantastic team working together,” Cramp said, noting they work hard to stretch dollars. “Everybody treats each other with respect, with love. We all work together for a common goal, and I feel like it’s always been that way at the Library.”
While 2023 marks the 20th work anniversary for Cramp and Meetsma, this year is also the Library’s 56th year serving Morinville and area residents.