Today a woman in her late 60's came up to me at the info desk accompanied by two children, a girl in the 7th grade and a boy in the 3rd grade. The first thing she says to me is, "I'm trying to get these two to get back into reading, what do you recommend?" Most times those that bring in children with them usually can tell me that Little Johnny liked So and So Book Title or Little Suzy likes to read about dragon-unicorn-chimeras. But this patron clearly had no clue what these children liked to read.
Thankfully, a few questions posed to the kids put me on the right track for providing proper reader's advisory. While the kids were browsing the shelves, the older patron came back to the desk to talk to me. In a hushed tone, she said, "Those two kids are actually my neighbors. There are a total of 7 siblings and they come from a divorced home and their dad doesn't come around at all so I'm trying to keep them busy." I commented on how nice it was of her, which it really, truly is. When the young girl came back to the desk to place a hold on a book, I noticed that she had some overdue fees which were over a year old. I didn't tell her about the fees, but followed the elderly neighbor's lead and forgave the young girl's fines. I can't do much in my position that can really help people but damn it I'll pay it forward when I can.