Category Archives: Staff

New Year, New Staff!

Welcome Eileen Barnes to our library!  As you can see, she is full of enthusiasm — as I took the photo I said, “Think of how happy you are to be working here!”

Like all of us, Eileen will be a jack-of-all-trades here, but her primary role will be in Technical Services, cataloging books and getting them ready for you to check out.   In time, you’ll start to see her at the front desk as well.

Eileen brings lots of great skills: she’s bilingual in Spanish, and also knowledgeable in all things “web.”  She’s also in the unique and enviable position of working in two libraries at once: she also works part-time for the Mount Vernon City Library, where she does (among other things) children’s programming.  Eileen is a great fit to our great staff, and we’re glad she’s here.

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Happy Retirement, Virginia!

This is Virginia Crandall.  She’s worked at our library for 26 years, but you may have never seen her. Virginia is our entire Tech Services Department: she processes every book that comes into the library, getting it into our catalog properly, and getting it ready to go out on the shelves.   We’ve all been spoiled by her absolute accuracy and dependability, and now she’s decided to retire; tomorrow is her last day!

Virginia has lived through three different library directors and three different computer systems, and learned to get along with all of them.  That’s saying something, because when she started, her main tools were a typewriter and index cards.

Fortunately, Virginia has said she’ll come back to the library and volunteer with us, once she’s used to being retired.   So congratulations, Virginia, and thanks for all your work and dedication.  We’re so glad we’ll still be your library… think of all the time you’ll have to read!

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Being most things to most people

Today I was cruising through the library, cleaning up and looking for people wanting help, when a young woman stopped me.  She pointed toward one of the three Internet computers that sit outside the computer lab.  There was a gaggle of teenagers peering over the shoulder of the computer user, doing a pretty good job at keeping their comments at a reasonable noise level.  “Is that ok?” she asked.  Her tone of voice indicated that she didn’t think so.

“Yes,” I said.  “Those three computers are for people who want to work together.  As long as they’re not disturbing others, it’s ok for them to be there.”

As she left, I reflected on issues like this that rise frequently.  The library is a public facility, serving a community.  It’s based on sharing: sharing space, materials, resources, and funds.  A community is made up of all kinds of different people with different expectations, needs, and wants.  How does a little library be all things to all people?   Maybe a better question is, how does a little library be most things to most people?

I’d love to know what you think.  How are we doing? 
Tell us in the comments.

                 –Mary Beth

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Congratulations, Janice!

Most of you know staff member Janice Burwash, and have some idea of  the contributions she makes to the library on a daily basis.  What you may not know is that for the past couple of years, she’s been industriously taking distance-learning courses from WSU to complete her Bachelor’s degree.  How she has done this alongside a full-time job and other commitments, and stayed not only sane but cheerful, we’re not sure.

But she’s done it!  And has finished her coursework triumphantly, earning the license-plate cover she has long coveted.  Join us in congratulating her on her motivation, perseverence, stamina, and devotion to higher education (oh, and her grades are pretty good too).

Way to go, Janice!

 

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YouTube stars!

Your local librarians are YouTube stars!! Several members of the BPL staff recently starred in a video project as part of a partnership with the University of Washington Information School. The message of the video is simple: whatever your information needs–we can help you with that. So check out our YouTube debut, and then come in to your local library for help finding the information you need. Parenting resources, medical and health info, car repair diagrams, job search and resume support, IRS forms, GED test prep, and more–we can help you with that.

~Janice

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8bCXfyTiCI&feature=player_embedded]

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Filed under Information literacy, Staff

We’ve had an unusual number of transitions this week.  There’s always something changing around the library!  We have to say goodbye to three wonderful staffers in the next couple of weeks. 

 Jacob has been a Page for three years, and has reshelved, oh, roughly a zillion books, all with steady good humor.  We’ve watched him graduate high school and start college, and look forward to seeing the directions he chooses next. 

 Isabel started with us when we opened the new library, in 2007, just as she began college.  She graduated last spring and will get married in September.  The Check Out desk will seem empty without her caring, calm presence, always willing to help us all out.

 It’s sad to lose valued co-workers, especially when you’ve watched them grow into young adulthood amidst this group of affectionate “library ladies.”  We’re happy to send them into the world, knowing they will be positive contributors wherever they go.

 Another valued partner of our library is Basilio, one of our custodians.  He began at the small, old building and made the transition to taking care of this much larger facility with his trademark humor and positive attitude.  Basilio is one of those people who always goes the extra mile to leave everything better than they found it, and smiling people in his wake.  He’s accepted a promotion with the City of Burlington, and we just hope he comes in to visit once in awhile.

 Change always has two faces; as sad as we are to say goodbye to these folks, we’ll heave a sigh and look forward to greeting new additions to The Friendly Library.  
            –Mary Beth

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Welcome Sarah!

Well, we not only survived the successful event Saturday night, but now I have the great pleasure to introduce you to a new staff member!

Sarah Lunde joined us last week as our new Teen Librarian.   She graduates this weekend from San Jose State University, with her Masters in Library and Information Science: congratulations Sarah!

I asked Sarah what took her to library school.  “A failed job interview!” she laughed.   She explained that she discovered her love of working with teenagers through some social service jobs, including Job Corps in Sedro Woolley.  But social work, she found, wasn’t her preferred career setting.  She applied for a Teen Specialist position in a library, and enjoyed all the preparation for the interview: doing book talks, creating publications for program promotion, etc.   Although that job didn’t work out, Sarah decided that library school was her next step.

“And so I finished school… and here I am!” Sarah concluded.  What is she most excited about in this new position?  “Really the thing I’m most excited about is just getting to know the teens.  Doing programs — we’ve got this great robotics program coming up! — will be fun too.”     And (an irresistable question), Sarah’s latest “great read” is…. Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly. 

Next time you see Sarah at the Information Desk, stop by and introduce yourself.  Help us welcome her!
                                  –Mary Beth

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Joy Joy Joy

Oh, the joys of a book selector.  Part of my job is to buy books for the library.  Doesn’t that sound fun?   It is.  It’s hard work, researching and keeping track and budgeting, and it’s occasionally heartbreaking because there isn’t (could there ever be?) enough money to get all the good stuff that would serve my community.  But it’s fun.

And there are two times when it is the most fun:  one, when a box of books arrives; and two, when the boss tells you she’s managed to eek out some more money for you to spend.  And today, both happened!   Maggie – who is a wizard at raising money – boosted my budget, so I get to go shopping for the lists and lists of books we need; and a box arrived with the last books I ordered.   

None of them are shiny bestsellers – it’s a hodgepodge of non-fiction.  But each one fills a hole in our collection that someday, someone will be grateful to find.  Each one will inspire or inform someone coming through our doors.  Call me corny… but that makes my heart sing.
                 –Mary Beth

P.S.  I just found out I won a contest and got some free books for the library.  Is this a great day, or what?

 

 

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Filed under Books, New Books, Staff

It’s crazy in here…

We’re in Countdown Mode towards the big event on Saturday – “Books, Bites and Burgundy,” our annual gala event to raise money for the Foundation.  This is near and dear to the staff’s hearts, because the Foundation, besides providing for the future of the library, also gives us small grants each year to help fund things we really want to have happen.  Like more books, and databases, and other wonders.

Rachel greeted people last year.

So we all pitch in to make it go.  But like any big party, it takes a lot of planning and energy and a dash of crazyness to spice it up.  Where should this go?  How should that be done?  How will this look?  In the end, of course, it all comes off wonderfully and everyone has a great time, munching and sipping and visiting and, hopefully, spending all kinds of moola on the raffle and silent auction and autographed books and other goodies.  We have a few special surprises in store, too – so don’t miss it!

The doors open at 6:30 on May 22nd.  Tickets are $25, and you must be over 21 to join in the fun.  Questions?  Call us at 755-0760.

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Filed under Fundraising, Staff