FINAL PAGES IN THE MUSIC DYNASTY

Four Chimacum sisters boast lengthy history with the library

Luciano Marano
lmarano@ptleader.com
Posted 9/11/20

Someday, Jefferson County Library officials may be obliged to name a wing after the Music sisters.

Or at least a shelf.

Because the library legacy of the four Chimacum siblings, who have each …

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FINAL PAGES IN THE MUSIC DYNASTY

Four Chimacum sisters boast lengthy history with the library

Posted

Someday, Jefferson County Library officials may be obliged to name a wing after the Music sisters.

Or at least a shelf.

Because the library legacy of the four Chimacum siblings, who have each served as a page sometime throughout the last decade — and two of which still do — is certainly unique enough to merit commemorating.

“All of them are completely unique and lovely women and all had one common trait: They are super reliable, go-the-extra mile, dedicated employees who are a great pleasure to have on the team,” said Brwyn Griffin, JeffCo Library services manager.

“This is the first employer I’ve worked with that I’ve known to hire all four siblings from one family, but there’s a good reason for that,” she added. “The sisters all brought the most to the table as applicants in each instance of a position opening.”

The sisters are Morgan, 25; Molly, 23; Marley, 20; and Magen, 19.

Molly and Megan are both still at the library, Molly having advanced from page to library assistant and now also moving into a new job at the nearby Chimacum Creek Primary School (in the library, naturally). Morgan and Marley have gone on to their own respective adventures, making recent Chimacum High School grad Magen the last true page in the family, a position officials said is perhaps less visible than librarian but just as important.

“Essentially, they keep everything where it belongs, a critical function at a library,” Griffin said. “The pages re-shelve the returned materials and do shelf reading, the tedious task of reading spine labels so the materials are kept in their proper places. They often empty the book drops, and occasionally help with special projects, such as the preparation of our in-house collateral materials like printed program calendars, which may need to be folded, or cut to size.”

Lately, in light of additional COVID-era precautions, the job has gotten more demanding, with returned items collected while wearing essentially a homemade hazmat suit before being quarantined for 96 hours to prevent potential infections. And yet neither of the Music sisters still at the library ever considered leaving.

“It definitely feels like a family to me,” Molly said. “A lot of people have commented about how they’re so happy and thankful we’re open, to be able to use our resources and materials, and the Wi-Fi has been a really big help, as well. For a lot of people this is their only source of entertainment, especially in our rural communities.”

Rather than a defensive, don’t-copy-me mentality, both Molly and Magen said the sisters encouraged each other to apply for open positions with the library — even when it meant working directly together.

“We had our [difficult] times, but I think now that we’re adults we’re a lot more accepting and loving,” Molly said. “Each of us were, whenever there was a new position open, we were encouraging the other one to go in and putting a good word in.”

Magen, the youngest sister, said she especially enjoys the orderly nature of the work, something even more in demand for her these days as she attempts to plot her first moves as a young adult in the world of the coronavirus.

“I really like all the organizational stuff,” Magen said, admitting however she’s not a particularly neat person at home.

“It’s hard to plan right now with all that’s going on; [I’m] just waiting it out to see what’s next,” she added. “I have a lot of different interests and it’s really hard to narrow any of it down.”

Magen said she has enjoyed working with Molly.

“It’s fun having her around,” she said. “It’s nice having her here and learning from her and everything.”

The Music family’s history with the library technically goes back even further than when Morgan first became a page.

“All of us actually grew up coming to preschool story time with Martha and doing all the fun library activities, the summer reading program,” Molly recalled. “Our family moved here in 2003 so we’ve been here for quite a while now.”

And they are well thought of, both within and outside the library, apparently.

“All [four of them] came highly recommended,” Griffin said, “especially by their teachers, and excelled in extra-curricular activities like band and Interact Club. At least one of the sisters earned a scholarship from Rotary Club and at least one of them attended college-level classes while still in high school.”

Both Molly and Magen said the experience of working at the library has helped them overcome some natural shyness.

“I would say it’s a great job to start out at, especially for people who maybe haven’t had experience in customer service,” Molly said. “It’s definitely more laid back and calm, relaxed, accepting. It’s a safe environment, for sure.”

“My friends all work in restaurants … and my other friend is actually a page here, too, so it’s interesting to communicate about our different experiences at the same place,” Magen agreed.

For Molly specifically, the job has helped her decide on a likely future career.

“Working there I really realized my love for kids; seeing the kids come in and be excited about books and helping them learn,” she said. “I’ve kind of thought about [being a] children’s librarian, could maybe mesh my two passions together.”

“I think all of us were definitely — I mean, still are a little bit — introverted,” she added. “So it was a great place for me to really learn how to talk to people and be around other people and staff. I don’t know if I could have grown this much without this job. “

For the library, too, there are benefits beyond the obvious to having local youths on staff, Griffin said.

“The library is committed to providing employment to youth,” Griffin said. “It’s not uncommon for pages, when they graduate and move on, to recommend their schoolmates for filling vacancies. We tend to get a lot of applicants from Chimacum High School due to its proximity to the library, and without a doubt, these young people keep our environment fresh with their input and observations.”

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