A Love Affair with Books Employees at New 95th Street Library Ready to Help out Its Patrons

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Naperville newsmakers discuss issues of the day

Naperville Public Library hired more than 60 people this summer to staff its new 95th Street Library.

Some were from the outside, some were moved from jobs at Nichols and Naper Boulevard libraries, but all were thrilled to be part of history.

From shelvers to maintenance workers to reference librarians, the employees have spent the past several months making sure the library is ready for the public.

This week, their hard work will be on display for all to see as the library swings into regular operating hours.

Staff Writer Beth Sneller spoke with four 95th Street Library employees about their impressions of the facility and their hopes for the future.

Circulation associate Irene Nyszczot has spent 13 years with Naperville Public Library, mostly at Nichols. Shelver Judy Boeman is a new hire who worked at Schaumburg Township Library five years ago.

Children's services librarian Sheila Rossi started this summer after working for many years in school and hospital libraries. Reference librarian Gary Yurgil also began this summer, coming from the Hinsdale Public Library reference department.

Q. Why did you want to work in a library?

Sheila Rossi: I had a love of books, a love of literature. I love working with children. They're our future. If we can get them excited about reading, then libraries will never die. There will always be funding.

Gary Yurgil: I've always enjoyed reading and being in libraries, but I've had so many career changes, I never stopped to think about it. I wish I'd become a librarian years ago, instead of just three years ago.

I worked for IBM, for Kodak, for big companies doing computer stuff. It's so hectic being in the corporate world. It's nice to lay back a little bit and work in a library.

I work in a library because of two things - the love of books and the love of helping people.

Judy Boeman: I had a career in real estate management - a more stressful job. But I came to the point where my priority was with my daughter and her learning. I wanted to keep that alive for her. I thought, what better example for her than to work in a library?

She loved coming in and seeing me work in Schaumburg, and she would sometimes ask if she could help me.

Irene Nyszczot: The library offered part-time positions, which allowed me to work around my children's schedules.

Q. What's your favorite part of your job?

Nyszczot: I like training with the new people and working the desk. Every patron always has something to offer. I take a piece of everyone with me. I get excited just listening to what people have done with their lives.

Rossi: One of the most fulfilling things for me is to help parents help their children. It empowers the parent, it empowers the child and it's just a wonderful family experience.

Yurgil: I love helping the patrons, whether it's finding a book for someone to read or helping someone with a school assignment. Sometimes, we have someone come in whose parent has just been put on a new prescription drug and they want to see what any possible side effects are.

Boeman: I certainly get to see more of the collection as a shelver than if I was just a patron.

Working in the children's department is fun because sometimes you see moms and their children sitting right down in the aisle to read a book. I also get excited when I see a child alone sitting and pulling out books.

Q. What brought you to 95th Street Library?

Nyszczot: I needed a change. I like the excitement of new places and new things. I've met a lot of exciting and fun people in Naperville Public Library, and I figured they'd all be here too.

Yurgil: Naperville has a reputation of having a good collection and I'd like to work in a library that has that. Plus, it's exciting working in a brand new library with all the latest technology, instead of working in some old library on some dusty shelves. …