She’s met latchkey kids and answered teens’ questions about sex – and took advantage of the opportunity to talk to them about diabetes and high blood pressure. She helped a victim of domestic violence find safe shelter and get medical attention. She encourages library visitors to use the hand sanitizer that’s always available to reduce the spread of germs. “Everything is an educational moment,” Pogue says.

She listens to the worries of the elderly, the unemployed and the homeless who turn to libraries for help and safety, and directs them to social services when appropriate.

“It takes a nurse to put a gentle hand on theirs and say, ‘I’m here for you.’” Pogue says.

How about we do less handwringing about electronic content and spend more time developing programs like this?

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