2008 Star Volunteer and Community Service Partner Awards
Presented by the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees, April 9, 2008
Community Service Partner Awards
Verizon has been a strong supporter of the Fairfax County Public Library through the Foundation. Currently Verizon is the Signature Sponsor for the Fairfax County Public Library and Foundation partner initiative, Art in the Pages, a public art sculpture project. Verizon came on board in the very early stages of this project when it was just a mere concept and made the project possible though a generous grant match of $26,500. Verizon also underwrote the Foundation’s Legislative Reception in 2007, supported the literacy initiative MotherRead/FatherRead, and more.
Virginia Commerce Bank
Virginia Commerce Bank has given both money and financial knowledge in support of the Fairfax County Public Library. In July 2007, Virginia Commerce Bank provided $3,000 to sponsor the Library’s podcasts which are listened to by thousands of people each year. Debbie Moshides with Virginia Commerce Bank is also a very active and dependable member of the Library Foundation’s Finance Committee. She voluntarily lends her expertise to help compare banking options and effectively mange the Foundation Funds which results in greater enhancement of the Library system.
Star Volunteers – Length of Service: 1,000 Hours
City of Fairfax
Sandy Griffith has been volunteering since 1999 as a Circulation Department volunteer at the City of Fairfax Regional Library. Sandy is always there on the busiest days to help process the delivery and holds and is always willing to come in when the branch is in need of extra help.
Louise Prosser was a founding member of the Fairfax Friends of the Library in the early 1970s. She has continued to graciously contribute her time and energy to the library on Tuesdays and during all book sales. She is especially talented at categorizing/arranging mass market paperbacks, as her organizational skills are superb and her personal specialty is Edwardian fiction.
Lyn Sanford volunteers Friday mornings with the Circulation Department at the City of Fairfax Regional Library, helping to process delivery and holds. She also helps with the Pick List and is one of the branch’s expert menders.
Frances Denny Frances Denny is a dedicated volunteer at George Mason Regional Library who comes in two days a week. She is a diligent and hard working addition to the circulation staff helping to process the delivery.
Carolyn O’Flarherty helps with the Monday morning book drop at George Mason Regional Library and pulls holds that have been on the shelves for five days. The staff appreciates her hard work, cheerful attitude and willingness to come in when the branch needs extra help.
Ellen Ajer has been volunteering at Kingstowne since it opened. She is a steady and reliable Wednesday morning volunteer helping to process deliveries. It is a pleasure for the branch staff and especially for new volunteers, to be greeted by Ellen’s friendly demeanor and welcoming smile.
Rita Smith faithfully volunteers two days a week at Kingstowne. On Tuesdays she scours the shelves in search of patron holds and on Thursdays she is an important part of the circulation staff. Over the years Rita has energetically expanded her volunteer duties to include all aspects of working at the Circulation Desk.
Joan Cann initially started volunteering at the Kings Park circulation desk then moved on to do the pick list and some shelf reading. For the past few years, she has found her niche coming in diligently every Wednesday to process numerous holds from start to finish. With style and a smile, Joan Cann has shown she can handle any volunteer task.
Betty Rae Powers
Betty Rae Powers provides excellent customer service at the busy Kings Park circulation desk. She volunteers every Wednesday for 3 hours during dinner time which allows staff more flexibility to schedule coverage for the desk. She shares her upbeat and positive attitude with everyone she interacts with while in the library.
Mike Simmons began his volunteer career at Sherwood Regional Library and now volunteers at Martha Washington. He works during busy morning hours and is trained to do delivery, holds and pick lists. Most importantly he can quickly determine what the morning’s priorities are and takes the initiative to get things done.
Cindy Shropshire is an important Circulation volunteer. She helps in the back room processing holds, checking in materials, editing patron registrations and processing the pick list and missing list. Her cheerful manner and willing demeanor is appreciated by all the staff.
Mike James is a technology volunteer at Reston who provides one-on-one tutoring session for customers of all computer abilities. When he’s not busy on the computer he willingly helps to sort delivery.
Ann Newman is a member of Reston’s mending team. She helps re-cover books, repair spines and glue in pages. She volunteers at the library an impressive three or four mornings every week.
Mike Schneck is a board member of the Friends of Reston Regional Library and an important asset to the book sale. He works as a sorter keeping the shelves stocked at the on-going book sale and is an essential volunteer at the large semi-annual book sales.
Chris Sylvester is a member of the Friends of Reston Regional Library. She is the editor of the Friends’ newsletter, a book sale sorter, a member of the mini book sale team and a super sales woman at the semi-annual book sales.
Roger Endert volunteers an amazing six days a week at the Richard Byrd Library. He helps with the on-going book sale sorting, receiving and pricing donated materials. He also regularly purchases books himself from the book sale and gives them to people studying for their US Citizenship test.
Jim Fitzgerald is the coordinator of the Friends of Richard Byrd on-going book sale which generates important funds to purchase materials and underwrite programs at the branch. Jim is a dedicated volunteer and is often at the branch six days a week helping to organize materials for the book sale.
Eva Kaufman is President of the Friends of Richard Byrd Library. She plans the annual book sale and volunteers twice a week at the branch sorting and reviewing books for the ongoing book sale. The Friends donated money from the book sales to purchase a digital camera for the branch and support both children’s and adult programming.
Star Volunteers – Length of Service: 3,000 Hours
City of Fairfax
Frank Passuth, a WW II Navy Veteran has indexed hundreds of thousands of records for the Virginia Room. His projects have included the indexing of the Quentin Porter photograph collection, various Fairfax County historical publications and all the birth, death, and marriage announcements from the Fairfax Journal. He is currently working on updating the index to the Historical Society of Fairfax County Yearbooks. His patient and accurate labors have resulted in the creation of numerous research tools that are used daily by local history researchers and genealogists.
Jane Seeman volunteers on the Circulation Desk on Tuesday evening at Patrick Henry. Traditionally it can be tough to find volunteers to work evening hours, so Jane’s commitment is extremely valuable to the branch. In addition, Jane is the Mayor of Vienna so volunteering gives her the opportunity to keep in touch with Patrick Henry Library patrons. Jane is also a former Library Board of Trustees member.
After volunteering for over 3,000 hours, Barbara Williams has become very knowledgeable about all aspects of working at the Circulation desk and her calming mood and positive attitude are always appreciated by staff and patrons. She has lent a hand numerous times when the branch is short staffed. A former statistician, Barbara also uses her skills to keep track of all the Page Department stats including how many carts of books are shelved per month, per day, and per hour.
Star Volunteers – Length of Service: 5,000 Hours
Wellington Machmer has been a pillar of support to the Access Services Talking Book Program since 1992. He uses specialized equipment to duplicate and prepare a quarterly mailing of over 800 copies of the branch’s newsletter to customers. He also duplicates several magazines and helps with minor repair of cassettes, shelves Talking Books, and weeds the collection. Access Services has greatly benefited from his years of experience and knowledge. Wellington lives in Alexandria and commutes 44 miles weekly to volunteer at Access Services. This year, he celebrated his 92nd birthday!
Star Volunteers – Exceptional Service
Any librarian who has ever been stumped by a child's question about a specific title or series, knows how hard it is when the child only has a small bit of information, but a great deal of eagerness in locating a title. Through volunteer Lisa Friedman's dedication, initiative and creativity the children's section of the Dolly Madison Library has made questions like this a bit easier. For over a year, Lisa worked with the children's department to create two guides for children's book titles in series: "What's that series about" and "What's that series called?" The two guides complement one another with the first providing short descriptions of what titles are about and the second with images of book covers using fun categorizations. Lisa wrote over 125 descriptions of children's series titles for these guides and participated in developing the categorization scheme.
Lynn Mobley started volunteering in 2002 with the Great Falls Library Circulation Department and was trained in all the support duties such as processing delivery and the Holds List, sorting carts of books and shelf reading. As her interest in circulation grew, Lynn participated in the Circulation Mentoring program, and she is now one of Great Falls' most experienced Library Aide volunteers, providing efficient, courteous and professional support at the Circulation Desk. Lynn consistently volunteers to work extra hours or days when desk coverage is needed and she graciously agrees to schedule changes which benefit the Branch. In December 2007, in addition to her library aide duties, Lynn volunteered her services to the Page Department when there was a Page vacancy and one Page was on emergency sick leave. Her assistance in sorting and shelving library items was invaluable. Lynn Mobley personifies the word 'Volunteer' and her willingness to help, no matter the situation, is greatly appreciated by all.
Dan Barolo is one of Martha Washington’s most visible and productive volunteers. He began volunteering two years ago as a technical volunteer teaching One-on-One Internet sessions. Last year, Dan took an interest in the incoming donations for the Friends Book Sale and began helping with sorting, but quickly expanded his role in the book sale process and the Friends of Martha Washington. As a result of his enthusiasm, he has revitalized the Friends of the Martha Washington library is now serving as the President. In September the Friends held their most successful book sale ever. Dan also recently began a new book sale initiative – selling donated books on eBay. Martha Washington Library is very fortunate to have such an enthusiast volunteer. He has truly made an impact on us.
Tim Foley has been organizing and managing Patrick Henry Library's Pokemon League since the spring of 2005. Almost every Friday afternoon of the year, between 40 to 50 kids crowd into the meeting room to play the Pokemon card game. Tim organizes these kids into a semblance of order - keeping the entire room moving on track. Tim has shown great sensitivity and patience with our younger participants, who are new to the league and he does a great job making everyone feel at home. Recently Tim has also volunteered at Patrick Henry’s “Game On” nights, keeping the Dance Dance Revolution module on track on these active nights.
As one of Reston’s first English conversation volunteers, Patty Aycock was instrumental in getting the new one-on-one English conversation program off to a successful start. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude made every English learning customer very welcome. She has helped grateful customers study for and pass citizenship tests. She is taking ESL classes to be a better conversation partner, and has arranged to extend her volunteer hours so she can follow up with customers who need extra attention. Patty’s work as a volunteer is the definition of outstanding service to the library customers, especially recent immigrants.
Charly Karlsson has been volunteering for the Friends of Reston Library book sale for the past 10 years and has been the Chair of the sales for 7 years. She is an innovative person and is constantly finding ways to expand and improve the book sales. She revamped the semi-annual book sales by redesigning the floor layout, adding new shelving, and creating a “specials room.” Her latest innovation is advertising the semi-annual book sales on the 13 screens of the Reston movie theater. Charly often volunteers an excess of 35 hours a week sorting books, recruiting and training volunteers, and developing new ideas. She is a cheerful and devoted volunteer and the branch is grateful for her work.
Judy Konnert has been the meticulous and thorough Secretary for the Friends of Reston Regional Library for the past three years. Last year she stepped up to a new leadership role as the Chair for Online Book Sales. Through eBay and Amazon, Judy handles all aspects of book sales to customers. Her online customer feedback performance rating is Platinum and she has generated over $10,000 in revenue.
For the past five years, Helen Teachout has forged important relationships with a large number of businesses resulting in their support of the Friends of Reston Regional Library book sales. She is able to solicit in-kind donations of equipment, food and beverages for the volunteers helping with the sales. These donations ensure that every dollar generated from the sales can flow into directly supporting the library. She is a creative and persistent volunteer who knows how to get things done!
Sheila Sheehan has volunteered two days a week in the Periodicals Section at the Sherwood Regional Library since 1991. She is a quick learner and has grown to be a valued trainer for new circulation aides and volunteers at the branch. Sheila keeps herself updated about changes to the WorkFlows system and is always willing to pitch in when needed.
Jonathan Distler leaves his full time job on Mondays and heads to the Woodrow Wilson Library where he spends two hours tutoring customers looking to improve their computer skills. His sessions are always full. As someone fluent in English and Spanish, he fills a unique void in the community. He has helped countless people obtain email accounts, learn how to send applications electronically, and how to use Microsoft Office. In short, he is enriching lives on a weekly basis.
Stuart Feldstein has been helping with the Woodrow Wilson Chess Club every Tuesday for over four years. He patiently coaches the children and ensures that their moves and strategies are correct. Parents are very grateful for the opportunity for their children to come and play chess every Tuesday and throughout the summer. This is the only chess club for kids in the Library system and parents bring their children from all over the county to learn the game and interact with other children.
Thao Le was a patron of the Woodrow Wilson Library as she grew up in the Culmore neighborhood. Now, as a college student, she decided it was time for her to give back to the library. She started working in the stacks, doing various list support and two years ago she increased her volunteer commitment to include computer tutoring. She balances this weekly commitment with her college studies and employment. She has the flexibility to tutor either in English or Vietnamese. She often gets repeat students and the students marvel at how patient she is. The Woodrow Wilson Library is fortunate to have such a dedicated, caring, and intelligent volunteer among its staff.