Meet Library Circulation Supervisor Suela Bace. Suela, who came to this country from Albania 20 years ago, has worked in public libraries for 23 years, the past six with the Dakota County Library (DCL) where she is a Circulation Supervisor at the Burnhaven branch. Circulation staff are the foundation of any public library in that they focus on customers and on managing books and other library materials. Many customers benefit from staff assistance to check items out, reserve a study room, and use library technology. Library staff help everyone feel welcomed and included no matter their technology skills or understanding of how a library works.
Many of the skills Suela used when she worked as a restaurant manager (before her library career) come in handy in her role as Circulation Supervisor, particularly customer service, staffing, and problem-solving. Suela especially enjoys working with technology, including the automated materials handling system. Fortunately, she loves multitasking!
A big part of Suela’s job is community outreach. DCL created a team to connect with the Somali community to find out how the library could best support community needs. Suela was involved in conversation circles initiated in 2018 to help people understand diverse needs of different communities and how they communicate, which led to staff training in areas such as non-verbal communication.
Suela participates on the county’s task force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Accessibility. Last year she was involved in creating a multiethnic and multicultural Employee Resource Group focused on achieving inclusive representation and providing staff with support. Dakota County recently honored her with the Inclusion Diversity Equity Access Leadership award.
Suela notes that Burnhaven’s circulation team is 75% diverse, and that branch also started a teen intern program that provides a 3-month training program to high school students with disabilities.
Another thing Suela is especially proud of is how quickly Dakota County Library figured out how to keep vital library services going during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a big challenge to continue to get materials to people safely, and they were among the first to initiate curbside pick-up service – processing and gathering books and other materials for people to pick up curbside at reserved pick-up times. This proved very popular and valued by library users.
Suela is also a poet, and she enjoys creating poetry from book titles. She was happy to create one for Sahan Journal readers:
The World all that it Holds
by Suela Bace
You, the WOMAN BEYOND THE SEA
Please look at your life and think
TAKE WHAT YOU NEED in this life
And know HOW TO WALK AWAY when you need
Just know life is not MILK&HONEY
And IF I COULD TELL YOU JUST ONE THING
You are A WOMAN OF PURPOSE & POWER
And this is what the world will ever need…
Book titles and authors:
- THE WORLD ALL THAT IT HOLDS by Aleksander Hemon
- THE WOMAN BEYOND THE SEA by Sarit Yishai-Levi
- TAKE WHAT YOU NEED by Idra Novey
- HOW TO WALK AWAY by Katherine Center
- MILK & HONEY by Rupi Kaur
- IF I COULD TELL YOU JUST ONE THING by Richard Reed
- A WOMAN OF PURPOSE & POWER by Myles Munroe
For more information about the Dakota County Library, visit https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/libraries For more information about the more than 100 public libraries in the seven-county Twin Cities metro, visit https://www.melsa.org/member-libraries/
Can’t get to a library branch? Visit your library’s website to find out how to get a library card, then check out ebooks, eAudio, and emagazines from the MELSA Twin Cities eLibrary, available through the Libby app.
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