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Access Services

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Hannah Lederman; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by DeAnn Jellinek, Datatel, Inc.Access Services sponsors free support groups for adults with vision loss. Held monthly at various sites, the groups are open to families and friends. Their success is due to the dynamic leadership of volunteers Thelma Sheridan, leader of Dimview; Gloria Sussman, who leads Reston VIP; Rosemary Hilsabeck, VIB Little River Glen; Hannah Lederman, VIP Greenspring Village; and Rhoda Stevens, VIP Vienna.

Dimview began in 1980 under the stewardship of Thelma Sheridan. The group formed to discuss recorded books, but quickly became a self-help group. Members exchanged information and resources dealing with vision loss, and speakers were invited to talk about technological developments. To meet increasing demand, two more groups evolved in the 90s, VIP Reston and VIB Little River Glen. VIP Greenspring Village and VIP Vienna were added in 2002 and 2004.

The support group leaders embody Access Services' mission to make library service accessible to individuals with disabilities. Each month, they contact speakers, advertise programs, and support the participants. Some of the leaders themselves cope with vision loss, yet provide new hope to others. They receive Exceptional Service Awards for their inspirational contributions.

Fairfax City Regional Library

Suzanne Levy, Manager, VA Room; Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Madeleine McCoy; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by Jerry HerreraMadeleine McCoy, a Virginia Room volunteer, is recognized for Exceptional Service for her historical research in support of a Virginia Department of Transportation project plan. In planning road construction, VDOT respects the significance of old burial sites. In 2005, VDOT was planning a project at the corner of Braddock and Guinea Roads. This area included the Guinea Road Cemetery, the former site of an African American community in the Braddock District. VDOT approached the Virginia Room for information about the cemetery, and Madeleine spent over 550 hours researching the area. Her work enabled VDOT to conduct the project with due respect for the history of the location and also revealed a wealth of new information for the Virginia Room's historical files.

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Bea Wood; Barbara Effron; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by Jerry Herrera

George Mason Regional Library

Barbara Effron, a professional storyteller with a masters degree in library science, has contributed over 1,000 service hours since 1998. She volunteers at the Information desk, freeing staff to attend meetings and complete projects. She also organizes and merchandises the children's collection, and her knowledge of picture books, classics and folktales has been a great asset to the public and to staff.

Bea Wood has contributed over 3,000 hours of service since 1983. Twice a week, she processes reserved books to make them available for the public to pick up. Without Bea's diligent efforts, countless customers would not have received their "holds" in such a timely fashion, and her sense of humor is always a delight to the library staff.

Kings Park Library

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Irene Wright; Daria Parnes, Branch Manager, Kings Park; Linda Wirth; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by DeAnn Jelinek, Datatel, Inc.Anne Drimer has contributed over 1,000 hours of service since 1996 at Kings Park. In addition to her job as a pharmacist, she comes to King Park every Thursday to provide friendly and efficient service at the Circulation Desk for afternoon customers.

Gen Lester, a retired Fairfax County Public Library manager, returned to volunteer in 1996 and has contributed over 1,000 hours at Kings Park. She provides experienced public service at the circulation desk, processes reserved books, and assists with the Kings Park Friends book sale.

Irene Wright a retiree from the Fairfax County Public Schools, has contributed over 1,000 hours of service since 1998. She works at the circulation desk and helps process the daily delivery of Kings Park materials that were returned at other branches.

Jane McCurdy has volunteered at Kings Park since 1998, donating over 1,000 hours. Every Monday morning, she checks in all the books and materials that customers have placed in the book drop over the weekend. Jane also volunteers at Green Spring Gardens.

Linda Wirth, a part-time librarian from GWU, has contributed over 1,000 hours of service since 1995. She spends every Monday evening providing skilled customer service at the circulation desk, and also works with Kings Park's Master Gardener to enhance the library's beautiful landscape.

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Violet Quatrochi and Liz Townsend; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by Jerry Herrera

Kingstowne Library

Violet Quatrochi has been a dedicated library volunteer for over nine years, contributing more than 1,000 hours at the John Marshall and Kingstowne Libraries. Currently Vi takes Metro Access to Kingstowne every Wednesday to process the books and materials that come in delivery.

Diana Stein has contributed over 1,000 hours since 2000 as a circulation volunteer at Kingstowne and Richard Byrd. She joined the Kingstowne team to prepare for the opening of the branch. She now commutes from Prince William County to process reserved books and provide gracious service at Kingstowne's circulation desk.

Liz Townsend began volunteering at Kingstowne before it opened and has now contributed over 1,000 hours as a Friday morning volunteer. She processes reserved books, maintains the romance collection, and provides skilled service at the circulation desk.

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Linden Renner, Great Falls; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by Jerry Herrera

Patrick Henry Library

Isabelle Chester, better known as Miss Belle, receives an Exceptional Service Award for her monthly family-friendly music programs at three library branches. Since 2000, she has performed monthly at Great Falls Library. In 2005, she added Dolley Madison Library to her monthly tour, and in 2006, Patrick Henry. Miss Belle has offered more than 100 programs to over 5,000 children at the three branches, and she has a devoted following of toddlers and caregivers. While Belle's services are free, she enjoys the hugs from many of the children present at her programs.

Pohick Regional Library

Lois Dusza has contributed over 1,000 hours of volunteer service at Pohick Regional since 2000. Lois works faithfully on the circulation desk every Wednesday morning and enthusiastically pitches in to repair damaged library books.

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Simrun Bal, Claire Tuley, and Lois Dusza; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by Jerry HerreraClaire Tuley, a senior at Robinson High School, writes and directs clever, delightful, and hilarious adaptations of popular fairy tales for Pohick Library's Teen Playhouse. Each summer for four years, teen volunteers have presented Claire's plays to appreciative children who are participating in the Summer Reading Program. For her contributions, she receives an Exceptional Service Award.

Simrun Bal, a sophomore at Lake Braddock Secondary School, has volunteered as a Homework Help Tutor at Pohick Regional since 2004. She is the only teen tutor to have volunteered every semester since the program began. She has helped over 75 young children get a better understanding of their assignments and succeed at school. She is a role model they admire and her positive influence extends to all those she has helped. Simrun receives an Exceptional Service Award.

Reston Regional Library

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Nan Rainey, Charles Denno, Mike James, and Lisa Osborn; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by Jerry HerreraCharles Denno has diligently volunteered at the Reston circulation desk every Saturday afternoon from 1-4 pm, with no exceptions, since 2002. Over the years, he has also applied for volunteer incentive grants totaling $2,500 from the company he works for, Citigroup, and these funds have enabled the FCPL Foundation to enhance library programs and services. For his outstanding commitment to the library, he receives an Exceptional Service Award.

Mike James has volunteered twice a week since 2004 as a technology tutor. His patient, quiet, and confident teaching style has made him an effective teacher and a favorite of new immigrants and older citizens who want to learn basic Internet and Microsoft skills. He goes the extra mile, bringing in his own laptop to help customers with issues the library's Internet pcs cannot handle and helping customers learn the English alphabet so that they can use the keyboard. For his outstanding efforts, Mike receives an Exceptional Service Award.

Lisa Osborn attends library school classes through Clarion University's online distance library science masters program. At Reston Regional, she works on projects for the information staff. Of particular note is the system she developed to sort biographies within the same last name. Lisa learned to use Sirsi, implemented the project, and customers and staff now find it much easier to locate and shelve biographies, particularly those about big families such as the Kennedys. For her outstanding work, which was not undertaken to earn academic credit, she receives an Exceptional Service Award.

Nan Rainey has contributed over 1,000 hours of service at the Reston Regional Library since 2000. She is an active member of the Reston Friends book sale team, for which she helps sort book donations. Nan's efforts have greatly enhanced the receipts from the Friends' semiannual sales, the proceeds of which are used for library programs and services.

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Betty Kourkoutas; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by DeAnn Jelinek, Datatel, Inc.

Richard Byrd Library

Betty Kourkoutas has contributed over 1,100 hours of service since 2001. She volunteers twice a week checking in books and materials that are delivered to the library from other branches. Her contributions are much appreciated by staff.


Sherwood Regional Library

Dorothea Brueckner was a staff member at Sherwood for 20 years. Since retiring in 1998, she has contributed over 1,400 volunteer hours at the circulation desk during staff meetings. Recently, Dorothea asked a customer at the express checkout terminal if she would like to learn how to use the new system. The customer responded that she didn't think so, she would use the full service line. Dorothea answered "then we'll give you all the help you need!"

Joan Lerner; Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Beverly Morse, Dorothea Brueckner; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by DeAnn Jelinek, Datatel, Inc.Beverly Morse has been a lively presence at Sherwood for seven years, contributing over 3,400 service hours. Twice a week, she helps process reserved books and the book delivery from other branches. Once when the branch was short-staffed, she handled the book drop, delivery, holds and the pick list all in one morning. Beverly also covers the circulation desk. She has joined the children's department as an expert "book talker", visiting schools to promote the Summer Reading Program, and she also works on labeling children's books.

Joan Lerner has donated over 3,400 hours since 1993. She helps the Sherwood circulation staff unload and process the book delivery. She has often come in to help out on extra days when she knows others are away. Recently Joan broke her arm and was in the hospital awaiting surgery on a Thursday when she was supposed to work. When staff called to see how she was feeling, her main concern was the volunteer she was leaving alone to do the work without her.

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Ting Tang, Mary Ann Collingwood; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by Jerry Herrera

Technical Operations

Mary Ann Collingwood, a former Cataloging Department Administrative Assistant I, traveled for three years from her new home in Delaware to Technical Operations in Chantilly to volunteer over 2,500 hours of her time and expertise. She added thousands of gifts and other items to the catalog, prepared materials for branch shelves and customer use, and unpacked materials in the Receiving section. Mary Ann receives an Exceptional Service Award.

Ting Tang, a retired molecular biologist, combed through years of interlibrary loan (ILL) records to create a spreadsheet of the largest U.S. sources of ILLs and the fees they charge Fairfax County Public Library customers. She also researched the largest holders of genealogical material and created a list of institutions that the library cannot borrow from. This information can be accessed by all staff on the library intranet, thus streamlining the ILL process. Ting also volunteers at Library Administration answering phones and working on research projects. She receives an Exceptional Service Award.

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Robert Bales; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by DeAnn Jellinek, Datatel, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson Library

Robert Bales retired as an electrical engineer in 1993 after a long career with various federal agencies. Long known to staff as a dedicated library user, he started volunteering at Thomas Jefferson in 2003 and has since contributed over 1,200 hours. Three mornings a week, he searches for books reserved by customers and pitches in on other projects, making it possible for the staff to provide additional help to customers.

Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library

Melda Sauers began volunteering at the monthly Tysons-Pimmit Friends book sales in 2001 and is now the vice president of the Friends. She has contributed over 1,200 volunteer hours. She sorts and prices donated books each week, and at the book sales, she sets up, cashiers, consolidates books, and helps dismantle the sale. She is key to the success of the Friends' sales, which have helped raise funds for children's programming and furniture at the branch.

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Mae McCarty, Ruth Pietrowicz, and Melda Sauers; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board - photo by Jerry HerreraRuth Pietrowicz began volunteering in 1999 and became the president of the Tysons-Pimmit Friends in 2000, contributing over 5,354 hours of service. She spends more than 50 hours a month coordinating the Friends book sales. Ruth recruits and trains new volunteers, works with Friends and volunteers to sort and price books, and keeps the on-going book sale organized in between the large sales. Ruth's extraordinary work has made possible many enhancements to the library.

Andrew Fauver began volunteering in 1990, contributing over 5,500 hours of dedicated service. He comes in five days a week and focuses his efforts on finding and processing reserved books. He can be depended upon to find paperbacks or juvenile series paperbacks that others may overlook.

Mae McCarty was a rural letter carrier in the Tysons area for 30 years. In 1995 she began volunteering at Tysons-Pimmit in the circulation department. In that time, Mae has processed many thousands of gift books in support of an inter-branch swap program to replace worn library copies. She has also processed delivery, served on the Friends Board, worked on book sales, and performed countless other tasks. This year Mae reached an extraordinary milestone - the 10,000 service hour mark. Her postal service heritage of dedication is obvious, and she is an inspiration to the community.

Woodrow Wilson Library

Del. Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA House of Delegates; Pat Jack; Flint Lewis, Chair, Library Board; Dave Newhall - photo by Jerry HerreraChris Stromme has been a regular volunteer at Woodrow Wilson since 2005. But her greatest gift, for which she receives an Exceptional Service Award, was to take on single-handedly a history project that was a showpiece at Woodrow Wilson's 40th anniversary celebration on March 31st. After wading through 40 years of files and historical documents, Chris created two scrapbooks that took the many friends and neighbors of Woodrow down memory lane, as well as discovering several special artifacts such as the original ribbon from the 1967 opening ribbon cutting ceremony.

Pat Jack, a volunteer at Woodrow Wilson Library since 1994, has contributed over 3,000 hours of dedicated service. Her flexibility and willingness to step in on short notice to work at the circulation desk, handle reserved books, or help with any other task makes her a valuable member of the branch team.

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