Oh no. The bartender spotted sad sack ambling toward the bar; how he wanted the other customers to rescue him because sad sack bombards him with the sorrows and sleights he alone endures. The most common: no one understands him.  

According to sad sack, his skills, knowledge and ability made his promotion guaranteed. Alas, his supervisor ignored that fact and promoted Bill, his son-in-law. However, he denied nepotism influenced his decision. Adamant, the boss swore he promoted Bill based on his self-evident superiority. Please. 

“We print bank statements for patrons,” said Abbi Gale Mangarelli, who’s run the Dadeville Public Library for six years. “Seniors bring in bills and letters that confuse them, we walk them through the process with their companies.” 

It’s located at 205 N. West St. in Dadeville. 

I witnessed a patron trying to resolve a bill paying issue; the effort left her fuming and fretting. Teri Jordan, a library staffer, interceded, resolved the issue and satisfied both parties. Patrons provide the staff with their personal information —that’s trust. Therefore, Mangarelli coined the term book tenders, because library patrons trust the Dadeville staff like bar patrons trust bartenders.  

A library’s usefulness is tethered to their ability to purchase new books. Based on that standard, Mangarelli’s succeeding. She secured three grants worth $25,000 and ordered 1,300 new books. She ordered adult non-fiction books, juvenile non-fiction books prepared for 12- to 18-year-olds and easy-reader juvenile books which appeal to children between 5 and 8 years old. 

When Mangarelli took charge, the library had only four public access computers; now it has 10. That’s vital in a computer-driven and dominated world and invaluable for patrons who can’t afford home computers. 

The world is digitized. That’s why Starbucks, Lowe’s, Family Dollar and Payless has been closing stores. Online shopping is devastating former retail giants. Many companies, including McDonald’s, require applicants to submit online applications. However, this shift plunges seniors into the computer matrix. 

For example, a gentleman who retired from Russell Mills wanted a part-time job to keep his body and his mind active. However, thinking about that computer thing, his breathing rate increases; he sweats; and his heart races. Pure anxiety.

The book tenders taught him to turn on the computer, explained what tasks the mouse performs and how to use it. In addition, they helped him create an email address because employers require all online applicants to have one. Furthermore, Amazon and Walmart also require online shoppers to have email addresses. 

Families often buy their parents and grandparents smartphones which send them scurrying to the library. One senior citizen gave his smartphone to Jordan like it was covered with toxic waste. 

“Delete this. Stop this. Start this,” he pleaded.  

Jordan said, “They’re scared, they think they’ll break it. It’s the unknown.” Nevertheless, the staff works with patrons and helps them learn to use their mobile devices.

As a girl, a grandmother read a book that delighted her. She yearned for her granddaughter to share the experience. However, she forgot the book’s title but she gave the staff some clues. The staff analyzed the clues, used its investigative skills and figured out the book’s title. 

Euphoric, the grandmother asked,  “However did you find it?” 

That’s what book tenders do. Furthermore, if patrons want a book the library doesn’t own, the book tenders will order it through the interlibrary loan program.  

The Horseshoe Bend Regional Library is also located at 205 N. West St. It provides passports Monday through Thursday. 

It’s impossible for a person to benefit when he or she has banished his or her treadmill to the garage. Likewise, it’s impossible for a person to benefit when they neglect their library.

Marc D. Greenwood is a Camp Hill resident and weekly columnist for The Outlook.