It takes a certain kind of person to provide service to the public. Not everyone can handle it and fewer still can handle it for more than a decade. People will say to me, “Oh you work at the library! You must get to read tons of books!” Or they think, “I love books and quiet. I would love working at the library!”
Then I get to put things into perspective. “Working at the library isn’t all about books and reading. What it really is boils down to is this: answering the same question 300 times and on the 301st time answering like you have never heard it before.” A person doesn’t know that you’ve given directions to the restrooms two dozen times today. They just need to go to the bathroom.
Not everyone can excel at public service. The best of us can provide public service in the capacity of volunteer. Gordon Burgess is among the best of us. As Geauga County Public Library Trustee, Gordon served for more than a decade. He showed up at regular board meetings. He participated in focus groups. He helped with strategic planning. He was a regular attendee at staff day. Once a year at the County Budget Commission meetings, he would show up in coat and tie to sit in solidarity with Lisa Havlin and me as we were tasked to defend the library’s annual budget.
As if that wasn’t enough, he participated in the Science Olympiad through Chardon City Schools. He served on the library Foundation board as a liaison to the GCPL Board of Trustees. Gordon was and remains a true public servant. He was up for renewal as a library trustee this year and the Commissioners asked the library to find other qualified candidates. In the opinion of the board, in written record to the Commissioners on two occasions this year, Gordon was the most qualified candidate.
I want to take a few moments to recognize him for his service. It was an honor to work for Gordon Burgess as one of my seven bosses in the capacity of GCPL Director.