Category Archives: Service stories

Tracking down an old buddy (other services story and other materials for the next meeting)

Our next meeting is coming up in Salkum this Wednesday. Here’s one of the always awesome service stories (this one from Hoodsport):

A husband and wife stopped into the library and asked how to locate someone in Potlatch, WA. Since there is no official Potlatch city, we asked more questions. The husband was trying to locate a buddy who had served with him in Vietnam. They were split up during the war and he did not even know if his friend had survived. He gave us his name and we looked in the phone book with no success. However, the last name was uncommon and they had the phone number of another family with the last name. We knew them as regular library users, so suggested they call them. The couple walked out into the parking lot, placed the call, and found information that could lead them to Florida and locating his long lost, but not forgotten buddy. We have yet to hear the rest of the story, but hope someday we will.

Where else in the community would someone have been able to drop in an have an experience like this?

You can find the rest of the meeting materials here, including the meeting tentative agenda.

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Read the service story this month from North Mason. Seriously.

There are a lot of great service stories this month, but this is the one that hit me the hardest:

A mother and her seventeen year old daughter came into the library about a week and a half ago. The mother explained to me that her daughter had suffered a severe head injury in April, and that she had been unconscious for approximately 10 days before she awoke. The girl’s reading comprehension skills had taken a severe decline and also affected her speech. The mother explained that she could not comprehend anything they tried to put in front of her to read. The girl’s tastes had even changed. Things she liked before the accident, she didn’t care for now. So, she had no idea what she liked when it
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came to genres. At first, we considered getting some audio books for the girl so she could read in conjunction with a teen book to see if that helped. But after doing some searching and seeing the girl look overwhelmed with teen books and underwhelmed at the content of juvenile books, I suggested the girl try some graphic novels. I asked her if she would be more interested in something about a character, or something with a compelling story (R.A. training kicked in!). She said character, so I recommended American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. After initially perusing the book, she seemed to like it and wanted to check it out. Today, mother and daughter returned, and were looking for more books like American Born Chinese. The girl looked really excited to be in the library to find more graphic novels. I was able to print a list for them off of novel list of character driven graphic novels for teens and adults. And they also had me place Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi on hold. I was really happy that I could help a struggling girl be excited about books, reading, art, and even culture, just by doing my job! Submitted by Larissa Hammond

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Agenda and items for next Wednesday’s meeting

Several items for next Wednesday’s meeting where posted up and sent around this morning:

Agenda (December 28 meeting)

Financial statements for November 2011

Director’s Report, December 2011

Department Report, December 2011

Several important updates in this report, including a description of a survey going out to TRL patrons soon:

TRL’s public will be invited to take a general satisfaction survey by January 2012.  The survey includes a short (2-3 minutes), regular (7 minutes) and in-depth (15  minutes) versions. Staff have taken the survey and provided input regarding minor  changes that more closely match TRL’s services and resources. TRL’s website  homepage will include a large graphic promoting the survey to garner what we hope  will be thousands of responses during the two-month timeframe the survey is available.

Service Stories

This one is always full of great stuff, especially this one this month:

A woman came to the Library asking how she could get a library card. She recently moved to Randle from a much bigger area out of state. She was so happy to discover that Randle had a library. After explaining to her all of the services and information TRL has to offer she could not believe that our library had so many more services available to her. She explained that her previous Library was three times bigger than our Library and it did not even begin to have as much as TRL. She left with a big smile on her face stating the staff will be seeing her quite often as she planned to use the Library at least two times a week.
Submitted by Nancy Sawyer, Library Manager

These kinds of stories really remind me of what a great institution TRL really is. We often forget what kind of libraries communities like Randle would have if not for Timberland. By being able to leverage the support of five counties, every one of our communities really does benefit.

Surplus list, December 2011

Board meeting recordings local television report

In January we’ll start recording and posting on the web our trustee meetings. This report explores the possibility of also distributing them through local public access television.

Facilities Report 2011

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Library services at the scene of the crime (especially good service story from Shelton)

Each month we get a stack of service stories from the various Timberland branches. Here is one that is too good not to share:

You can find all of the other service stories for September here.

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Okay, maybe just a few from the service stories

Here are my favorites from the recent batch of service stories in the meeting packet.

From Naselle:

Earlier in the month, in our children’s section, I was chatting with some families. The story time session was over, and this particular day one of the regulars, a little girl, asked me to do story time. I said that I hadn’t picked any out, but I would love it if she would do story time for me. So, after nicely removing me from my chair, she waited for the other kids to circle around. She told them that she couldn’t read yet, but she would tell them a story. One little boy came to sit next to her, and she told him he could be her helper. She went on to create a story about a little kitten who didn’t have a home of her own, and instead ‘traveled around and around’ looking for somewhere to live. She found a little bed one night, but ‘it wasn’t a home’. The next day she continued traveling, and found a house, but ‘it wasn’t a home.’ The day after that, she found an igloo, ‘and moved right in’. And she followed up her story with a song, just like we do it in story time, and everyone joined in for a verse of “You Are My Sunshine,” followed by a round of applause.

From Tumwater:

A woman came into the library yesterday and handed Bernard her business card. She said, “You may not remember me, but I was in several months ago and you spent quite a bit of time with me, helping me to put together my resume. I just wanted you to know that I got a great job!” She thanked him for his help.

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Service stories: Mountain climbing man and other summer adventure

I love the service stories we get in our trustee packet each month. Two jump out at me this month, the first from Mountain View:

One sunny afternoon, a bicyclist with a small trailer pulled up at
Mountain View. He came in with his laptop and as soon as he spoke we knew he was not from around here-he was from Belgium. After he did what he needed to do, we asked about the website that was displayed on the side of his bike trailer (www.the highest world.com) He explained that he is on a 3 year mission to climb the highest mountain in every county in the Americas, and travels from peak to peak by bicycle! He wanted to see Mt. St. Helens, so Mary gave him a few suggestions and printed some maps for him. Now we
are following his trip (as best we can since we don’t speak French)
on his website and Facebook.

And Packwood:

One of the local attractions, at this time of year, is the Pacific Crest Trail. We get many of the hardy souls who traverse this 2650 mile trail that extends from Canada to the Mexican border. This year has been no exception, despite the unusually wet month of September. One young lady, hiking by herself sought sanctuary from the rain in our library. She was trying to find a ride from Packwood to Snoqualmie Pass, so that when the weather, which was predicted to be good, changed she would be dry and could finish her trek from there. The library staff gave her suggestions about where to leave her name and number at various businesses in town. We also gave her an alternative of catching the local transit bus to Centralia to the Gray hound station then she could take a bus to Ellensburg, which stops at the summit for a break. The lady was extremely happy to hear she had some alternatives to trying to hitchhike. She also found out it was our mature audience movie night, so she came back to have a warm dry evening of entertainment before leaving Packwood.

And another one from Packwood, because it points out how nice TRL staff really are and how great our regional system is. This could not have happened between two city-based libraries:

An elderly patron came in with two small pieces of microfiche and wanted them printed out. We don’t have a reader, so I called Selina at Centralia. She said that we could send the microfiche to her and she would print the copies and send them back. When I explained the timeframe to the patron, she asked, reluctantly, if she could just go to the Centralia Library herself. I printed out a map with directions, and gave her Selina’s name. When she walked in, Selina immediately greeted her as asked if she was from Winlock. Dale Carroll has used the reader extensively, so Selina asked Dale to help her. Our patron came in today and told us that she was really tickled with the treatment that she received. She said that she didn’t even go to that library, but they made her feel right at home.

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Meeting packet preview with the best service story ever: Razor Clams (and some extra documents)

I got the packet in the mail tonight, and I’ll scan and post it on Monday with some summary. But, I had to share quickly this particular service story. Its overall awesomeness is unparalleled.

From the Ocean Park Library. Assuming if you work there, you need to know a thing or two about life at the beach:

We recently had a call from a patron who had a limit of razor clams but did not know how to clean them.  After talking with her for several minutes, Beth said if she brought in a clam, she would show her how it was done.  Beth showed her how to remove the shell and the other technique needed to clean a clam.  Our patron left very happy!

Because of course, you go to the library to learn how to clean a razor clam.

I can imagine the tail end of the phone call: “Look, uhmm no. Well, you don’t have that many to work with. Can you just come down here and I can show you?”

In addition to the packet material, there are a couple of other documents that came over email, a meeting memo and a rundown of recent activity at the foundation.

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