Working as a journalist, you meet a lot of people, and when given an assignment to write about one person who has influenced you, it can be really hard.
There are so many great people, it is hard to choose.
But one person who sticks out in my mind is Lisa Youngblood, the Harker Heights Library director. ( The library was renamed the the Stewart C. Meyer Library in April.)
Youngblood has a passion about her work that is matched by very few, in my opinion.
When I first started covering Harker Heights, Youngblood was operating the library in a small building on Bee Line Lane.
I may be overplaying the memory in my head, but books were bursting the seams of the small footprint of the library.
That made it even more amazing to me that Youngblood could run some of the programs that she did from the library.
As the director, Youngblood could have probably just handled the administrative needs of developing programs, budgeting the library operations and scheduling staff. But she didn’t; she still found time to read during a children’s story time, run a children or teen program and more.
The programs would often bring smiles to children’s and parents’ faces, but more importantly, they brought knowledge.
I remember having the idea several years ago to write about the importance of the library because I was inspired by Youngblood’s willingness to educate as a librarian.
Helping people find information is why Youngblood enjoys being a librarian, she said in that 2008 article.
“I think that I love to serve people, and the best way to serve them is to help them get the information they need, and of course I love to read,” Youngblood said.
“Every single day you help someone — really help someone — as a librarian,” she said.
In another instance, I asked Youngblood to write a column about her field for the Harker Heights Herald, when the paper had just launched.
She jumped at the idea and offered to drown me in columns. It wasn’t the idea of promoting the library that I think excited her so much about the column. It was more the ability to expand the reach of delivering information and educating the people of Central Texas.
As I journalist, I know how to access a lot of information, and while I knew several students pursuing a library science master’s degree in college, it was Youngblood who made me realize that librarians will always be there to help you find information.