There are people who say they love their jobs, and then there are people who love their jobs so much they run out of words to describe just how much they really and truly love them.
Laurel Reisen, the new librarian at the Mount Pleasant library, is definitely one of the latter group. In fact, she calls her new position "perfect."
Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Reisen's parents moved to North Carolina in 1995, and she followed them two years later. Her parents still live in Gold Hill, as does Reisen, and she has sisters in Faith and Salisbury.
So she knows small towns like Mount Pleasant. In fact, as she attended college at Pfeiffer and library school at UNC Greensboro, she says, her dream job was always to work in a small-town library.
When the position opened in Mount Pleasant, the timing was perfect. Her daughter had just started school, and Reisen was ready to go back to work. Although Mondays through Thursdays are long days, she says, since the library is closed on Fridays she can volunteer at her daughter's school.
It's obvious Reisen feels very comfortable working with small children. I happened to stop by the library the day she had her first story time with preschoolers. Reisen was still flying high from all the fun they'd had.
She would like to add more programs for the children to the library's schedule, perhaps a book club for older elementary students, or a special Christmas program. And, of course, she's already looking forward to next year's summer reading program.
When she's not at the library, Reisen enjoys community theater and running. When her daughter started preschool, she found herself with some free time and decided to start running. Through the mentorship group Tri It For Life, she was encouraged to train. She recently competed in a triathlon in Tennessee and ran the Chicago Marathon, her first race of that length.
As busy as life gets, Reisen says she always makes time to read, and she's usually working her way through several books at the same time. When I talked to her, she was reading regional author Margaret Maron, the newest novels from Susan Isaacs and Sara Gruen and "Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters," a book for older elementary children.
Reisen says she became a librarian because she likes books, but also because she likes people. She loves talking to the people who come into the library. She's getting to know the regulars and learning what they like to read. And she really enjoys advising readers and helping them find new authors and titles to enjoy.
Visiting with folks and helping them do what they enjoy are the perfect skills for a small-town librarian. No wonder Reisen is so happy here, and no wonder we're so happy to have her become part of our community.