The Livermore Public Library was established in 1878. For 23 years the public library relied on membership fees and a library association to stay open. When the State of California passed legislation in 1901 establishing free public libraries in towns and cities, Livermore was the first town in California to take advantage of this law. The residents petitioned the Town of Livermore to establish and maintain a public, tax supported library and formed the Livermore Public Library which continues today. The public library includes a main Civic Center Library plus two neighborhood branch libraries. (Source: Livermore Public Library Long Range Plan, 2005. p. 14.)
Tamera LeBeau is Livermore Public Library’s Assistant Library Director and BayNet’s Vice President. She graciously offered more tidbits about the library and herself.
What is one thing your library is very good at? I think the Livermore Public Library does a great job of providing something for everyone, from baby storytimes to retirement planning seminars.
Is there something else about your library that most people do not know? The Livermore Public Library is one of the first public libraries in California to provide a full-service job center, complete with an in-house career advisor.
Who are your most frequent types of users? Livermore community members of all ages are the most frequent users. However, we also get many patrons from surrounding areas such as Pleasanton, Dublin, Tracy, etc. Community members often bring in their relatives and friends who are visiting from out of state to see our main Civic Center Library. We’re glad they like to show it off!
What do you like best about your users? They are so appreciative of the services we offer. We have the good fortune of being in a very supportive community.
What initially attracted you to library work? I have always loved libraries. In college my original major was Elementary Education, but after my first student teaching experience I decided that I would prefer to focus on education in a library setting rather than in a classroom.
What do you like most about working in your library? I enjoy the variety of patrons (all ages, educational levels, etc.) that I encounter working in a public library. Although now I don’t have as much direct contact with the patrons as I’ve had in previous positions, it’s great to be able to use my creativity in working with staff to plan programs and services for the community.
What is it about your job that most people don’t realize that you do? Being a manager in a public library utilizes a wide range of skills that would not necessarily be taught in library school; everything from facility maintenance to classroom management to negotiation skills. When we have to deal with a clogged toilet, my colleagues and I will joke that we must have missed the plumbing class while in library school.
What is most challenging about working in your library? The aspect of the work that I love (the variety of patrons) can also be challenging. In this era of shrinking budgets, it’s a big challenge to continue to provide such a broad array of services.
How do you spend time off work? I like to go on hikes all around the Bay Area with family and friends. I also love the ocean. When stressed, I try to think of my “happy place” which is a lanai in Hawaii overlooking the ocean.