Profile By: Mary Henley

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Part Four More Personal than Professional

Price also valued her role as advocate for the children who visited the library, feeling that she was their representative in the adult world.  She also had many strong opinions about being a librarian. “The adults will complain if they don’t like things, but the children don’t. At least, they don’t know how, or where to complain if they do [have concerns].” Price remarked that she felt it was her personal duty to protect the wishes of the children she served, especially as a children’s librarian: “Children’s librarians are more people-oriented and adult librarians are more book-oriented…” (Price).  Given her strength of conviction, it is easy to understand why Price was promoted to a supervisory position in one of the library branches, which shattered both gender barriers and specialty areas that were favored at the time. While Price was never intrigued by the idea of working in upper management, she decided that if her position would yield better results in enhancing literacy for the children, then that is what she would do.

When I asked Price to recall her time spent as a student at the Omaha University (now UNO), the challenges she may have faced as a female student, and her experiences as a female employee, her answers were unusually short and succinct: I never challenged anybody, so I never did anything that would cause a challenge [for me].” The curtness of her responses to these matters was a dramatic change from the lengthy replies she gave about her time spent with children, many of which fostered a story that she remembered fondly. It was always very clear to Price what her role in the community and workplace would be. As long as she could continue her work with the children, it didn’t matter to her what position she held. In fact, it was never her intention to thrive in the world of office politics. It was not in Price’s nature to criticize those who found an interest in office politics or to participate in office gossip. Her work was to assist in molding the minds of children, not the adults. Although she did not make many demands of her own or defy the demands of others, she fought for children and colleagues who needed a warrior to address injustices.

 

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Part Five Kid-Centric Career

Genevieve Price has always been determined, diligent, and patient. Those distinctive qualities are essential for the type of work to which she devoted her life.  She was determined to introduce children to the library and the world of literature. She was diligent in protecting the innocence of children’s minds and, in turn, allowing them to remain kids for as long as possible. Her patience was utilized in her interactions with both children and adults. Price took great pains to select books that would hold the interest of a particular child so that s/he would continue to enjoy reading and visiting the library. Patience was also used when encountering the trials of a gendered workplace. These different components made it possible for her to do what she truly loved and encourage children to do the same. All of these qualities underscore