The Jewel on the Corner

February 24, 2013
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The library: known by so many people. "The jewel on the corner," Lois Johnson, the librarian, said. She has been working there for four years and that little brown board building is St. Clements has never been the same. Any person can walk in and immediately feel welcomed. Like Elizabeth Guest who walked in and there Lois was, already finding the book she had previously ordered, or Kristen Harris who said "it's the best library ever."

Lois Johnson, as said above, has been working at the St Clements library for four years but that is not how she started. Lois started her life in Britain where she spent the first two years of her life. Then she moved to Bermuda where she spent her childhood and teen years. It was in Bermuda where she was first introduced to the experience of being a librarian. There she became a Library Page and loved it so much that when she moved to Canada she began looking for another job in a library. She applied to be a librarian for the Elmira Branch Library and was lucky enough to get the job. There she worked with other librarians for 18 years. When the job to be the librarian for the St Clements Branch Library came in she applied and was blessed enough to take on the little building.

It's clear by her smile even on her just "doing" days, that she loves what she does. When asked why she loves being a librarian she replied with the following reasons: she loves serving the community, taking care of the books, seeing new material come in (both fiction and nonfiction), and storytelling for the kids. She also loves when people ask her to recommend books. When interviewed she said "then [when asked to recommend books] I make an affinity with the person." Like the correct and knowledge savvy person she is, she looked up the proper meaning and spelling for the interviewer right in front of them and cautioned them to "be careful with the meaning" when reading the real definition. Though she meant " a natural liking for or attraction to a person, thing, idea" as stated on

No matter how much Lois Johnson loves being a librarian, she knows that it's not all roses and daisies. When asked what the hardest part of being a librarian is she said "being a one man band". Lois Johnson runs the whole place. She talks and interacts with everyone who walks in the library while also keeping the building looking welcoming. She has been making many changes to over the last year with rearranging the books, getting new chairs, and new toys in the puppet center in order to make the library looking welcoming. She also has administrative work she needs to do, like finding special activities for kids during the summer or on march break. Before the interview she asked the Guest Girls (regular members to the library) if they want to perform a magic show on march break, since their previous performance in the summer was such a big hit by all the kids and Lois. Most of the time the amount of work needed to be done does not bother her. She just wishes she could do more but she gets, in her words, "hampered".

Over all, the place feels like home whether you're a young child, who feels "safe and comfy" said Lois, or an adult wishing to curl up and read a good book. she is the woman who keeps both books and people feeling welcomed and special no matter what, with a smile, a conversation or by reuniting book and reader. Any library can have a librarian, but only St Clements library has Lois "she's the only librarian I'm not scared of!" said Kristen Harris, which is a feat indeed.

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