A Visit from Steve Jobs

20 Jun A Visit from Steve Jobs

Summer has arrived and visitors to La Porte have begun to stop by our library locations to check out all of the recent remodels and new buildings.

Earlier this month I had the distinct privilege of meeting four women from the La Porte High School graduating class of 1966. They got together at the library with plans to browse their old high school yearbook. Since our yearbooks have recently been digitized, I directed them to our Digital Yearbook Collection. There were some great memories shared, and big smiles as they came out see me at the Information Desk afterwards.

Turns out this group of friends were on another mission when they stopped by to talk with me. One of the classmates, Lucy (Sokolowski) Reser, had a story to tell. This was her first visit back to La Porte after living many years abroad.

Lucy explained that her mother, Denise Sokolowski, worked at the library as Head of the Adult Department from the 1960s – 1980s. According to Lucy, sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s Steve Jobs was touring the country, visiting libraries in order to promote the value of using computers in libraries. It so happens that he had a sit down meeting with Denise here at the La Porte County Public Library during that time.

I asked a few of our current staff members who have a long history with the library if they remember or ever heard anything about this visit, but couldn’t corroborate the story. However, at that time Steve Jobs would have been new on the public scene, and we wouldn’t have known how important and famous he would one day be.

Regardless, it’s exciting to think how far we’ve come in the decades since. Lucy and her friends mused about how computers are everywhere in libraries today. They play a critical role in all library services—we use them to keep track of our catalog of materials and for customer service. All of our locations now have public WiFi available, as well as public computers and Chromebooks for the public to use. All this to say, I am truly grateful for the creativity and ingenuity of both librarians and technologists in pairing great services.

Thanks Lucy for sharing this story!