Chicago Librarian Proving That Not All Heroes Wear Capes

For this Illinois librarian, the key to solving any issue is empathy. And when one of his patron’s called with a devastating request, Eddie Kristan answered with kindness.

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The past few years have been hard on everyone, that’s nothing shocking. However, public libraries are the one thing that are keeping many people sane during these tumultuous times. And this Chicago-based librarian is once again giving us reasons to adore our local libraries and librarians alike.

Eddie Kristan is a safety and security supervisor at Warren-Newport Public Library, the same public library that he grew up going to. Eddie was named a 2020 Movers & Shakers Community Builder by Library Journal for his efforts at this same library. “He tries hard to make it a safe place for the staff and roughly 1,800 patrons who seek its services every day.” It’s possibly these efforts under the direction of Eddie that have made this situation possible.

Since Eddie has taken over the security supervisor position at WNPL, there’s been a shift of focus for the group. His new directive has put an emphasis on building relationships with formerly “troublemaker” teens, people with mental health issues, and others. This Illinois native has created an atmosphere of acceptance in his place of work that aligns perfectly with the library’s core values.

For Eddie, “the key to all issues is empathy.” Something that is clearly displayed by his most recent encounter that has gone viral on Twitter.

Currently, replies to the librarian’s original tweet are still pouring in. The majority of them praising Eddie for his gracefulness in the situation. Many people are even offering to become pen pals with the patron Eddie was referring to.

Some even shared stories of their own, as well as ways they help their loved ones find obituaries of old friends.

Like I said, libraries are so important and they’re the one thing keeping us sane during this hellish time. If there’s one thing I aspire to do in my life, it’s to have the kind of empathy and level of kindness that Eddie does!

I love my job. It can be crazy, but the people here are my family. And because I’ve been able to be a part of the positive mission of the library instead of just the reactive mission of security, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Eddie Kristan in an interview with Library Journal

For more reasons to appreciate librarians, click here!

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