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Posted on: February 23, 2023

Meet the Staff: Rachael Surles

Rachel Surles (1)

Rachel Surles (1)

Learn more about the staff who work at Chesterfield County Public Library! At the heart of CCPL stands a dedicated team ready to guide, inspire and connect you with the world of knowledge. In this special "Meet the Staff" blog post (the first in a series), we'll introduce you to the individuals who make your library experience truly exceptional. Today, meet Rachel Surles, library assistant at Chester Library. 


What is your name?

Rachael Surles  

What is your role at the library?

Library Assistant

How long have you worked at the library?

8 Months

What do you enjoy most about working at the library?

There are so many things that I love about working at the Library. I was originally inspired to work in a library by my love of books and stories and was excited to be surrounded by an endless supply of both. As time went on, I began to see Libraries as so much more than just a place for books. Libraries are essential pillars of any community with endless resources and opportunities for connection. Being part of an institution that helps so many people gives me a sense of purpose that inspires me to give my best every time I come to work.

Can you share a memorable experience you've had while working at the library?

One of the most memorable experiences I have working at Chester Library was a situation with a gentleman who came in needing help logging onto a Zoom call. He arrived at the library feeling a bit frustrated and in urgent need of someone’s help or he was going to miss a very important meeting. We faced several obstacles in getting him logged in to the proper meeting but after about an hour we eventually got it all figured out. The next week he came back just to tell me how appreciative he was for my help and patience. It was one of those heartwarming moments that make all the other frustrating moments worth it.

How do you think reading has impacted your life?

Funny enough I wasn’t really into reading a lot until after college, but once I started reading, I haven’t stopped. I have found that sometimes getting lost in your favorite book can be just the thing you need to quiet your mind and let your troubles melt away. There have been several chapters in my life where I found myself struggling with my mental health and was able to find strength and inspiration through the characters I was currently reading about.

Do you have any tips or strategies for people who are trying to get into the habit of reading more?

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think audiobooks are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I love to throw on my headphones and listen while I’m doing my daily chores.

If you could switch lives with any animal for a day, which animal would you choose and why?

If I could switch places with any animal for a day, I would love to be an eagle. I can’t imagine a better experience than being able to soar above it all and see the world from that perspective.

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