Last week’s column

Orange County Reg­is­ter — North County News; Date: Aug. 23, 2018; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: A5

A good first impres­sion, inside and out

They say you never get a sec­ond chance to make a good first impres­sion. They are cor­rect. I used to spend a lot of time on how I looked. If peo­ple judged my appear­ance before dig­ging any deeper, I wanted to dress for success.

Until I hit 60, no one at the gro­cery store had seen me with­out makeup.

I still like to make a good first impres­sion on the world, but these days, I let my per­son­al­ity do the talk­ing. A smile takes less time to apply than lip­stick, and it appeals to a broader audience.

After all, the horses do not care if I’m wear­ing mas­cara. They only care if I am kind—and I bring treats.

Last Tues­day, how­ever, it was all about the total pack­age. Our Pla­cen­tia Library Dis­trict won an award from the Cal­i­for­nia Spe­cial Dis­tricts Asso­ci­a­tion, for our Library of Things. We will receive the 2018 Inno­v­a­tive Program/Project Award in Sep­tem­ber at the CSDA conference.

Our library is excited and hon­ored to be rec­og­nized. Part of the award cer­e­monies will con­sist of a 90-second video, fea­tur­ing inter­views and snip­pets of patrons enjoy­ing our LOTS col­lec­tion. As pres­i­dent of the library board of trustees, they wanted to inter­view me.

On cam­era.

This sent me into a week­long spi­ral of what to wear, what to say, and how to be the best library board pres­i­dent in the room. For­tu­nately, I have friends in show busi­ness, who shared their tips with me.

The clothes I chose were solid, bright col­ors, my makeup and jew­elry were sim­ple, and my hair was down. I didn’t have time for a man­i­cure, so I planned to keep my hands at my sides. Some­one had pre­pared a script of ques­tions they were going to ask and how to answer them, so I stud­ied. I walked into the library with con­fi­dence, ready for my close-up.

It didn’t hap­pen quite the way I pic­tured it.

The inter­view team was late, which was not a prob­lem for me, but the chil­dren who were using our games were get­ting sweatier and more hyper­ac­tive by the minute. At some point, a stray dog ran into the library, so we spent some time find­ing its owner. And, to add to the mer­ri­ment, a worker came in and said they were shut­ting the water off for the rest of the day. The staff man­aged to get that postponed.

I could hon­estly tell the inter­view team there is never a dull moment at our lit­tle library.

When it finally came time for me to be inter­viewed, I did pretty well at stay­ing on my mark, smil­ing, and giv­ing them my rehearsed answers. The two-people team said I was doing well. I could see the light at the end of the tun­nel. More impor­tantly, I could soon go home and get into my casual clothes.

Then they started ask­ing me non-scripted questions.

How do you think the Library of Things will impact other libraries?” I made up some­thing pos­i­tive, but I don’t know what other libraries might do. “How did it feel when CSDA told you about the award?” I prob­a­bly should have said we were grate­ful, thank­ful, honored.

Instead, I said we all did a happy dance. That will prob­a­bly be the clip they use in the video.

What was I say­ing about mak­ing a good first impression?

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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