- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Willow Glen Branch Library is graced with a very supportive community, including some wonderful volunteers. Nearly every month, well over 100 hours’ labor is donated by volunteers, more than half of that by the Friends of the Willow Glen Library. Some FWGL volunteers pull double duty, like Helena Martiyan. Not only does she sort donations and restock the Friends’ book sale nook, she also comes in weekly just to help the Library staff in the Marketplace area, shelving hundreds of DVDs, CDs, Audio Books, and New and Reserved materials. Helena stared volunteering at Willow Glen shortly after the branch re-opened in 2008.
Helena loved her local public library when she was growing up in Manhattan after having moved from Europe at age 7. To a shy child, the library was a welcoming refuge full of her best friends: books. She continued to love books her whole life and made her career teaching writing and literature, including classes for non-native-English speakers. She also worked in several bookstores. In 2005, she moved to California to be near her son and two grandchildren. Now, she makes the time to volunteer in her neighborhood library. That happens to be Willow Glen. Lucky us! Helena was chosen by the branch leadership team to be the 2012 Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations, Helena!
Library customers who want to do more with technology may want to sign up for a class, but sometimes you're just trying to accomplish a specific task (e.g., get started on e-mail, apply for a job, or find tax forms online). If you already have some experience with computers, you can search for a tutorial online--like this one for downloading eBooks--but what if you have little or no computer experience? One-on-one computer help is the answer!
Many branch libraries offer free assistance thanks to volunteer Computer Tutors. These devoted volunteers spend hours helping out at local library branches, for no financial reward. The community is strengthened and enriched, as new computer users learn how to navigate the Internet, use social media, and apply for jobs online. Willow Glen Branch Library offers one-on-one Computer Help two days a week. If you're not in the neighborhood, other branches offer one-on-one help and sometimes classes, too. Check out the SJPL Events Calendar. Select locations from the menu to only see certain branches, or simply click on the time and day that appeals to you, and you'll be connected to the event description and branch name. Call first if appointments are recommended, especially on Saturdays.
Happy learning, and don't forget to thank your volunteer!
Well, the forecasters tell us we'll get some rain soon. I'm looking for a good book so I can curl up and read while I enjoy the sound of the rain outside. If you're like me, you'll head over to the Friends of Willow Glen Library book sale this Saturday, January 21. It runs from 10 am until 4 pm. The Friends tell me their stock of book purses is low right now, so I'll want to hit the sale early for the best selection. I love browsing through tables full of books to find a fun read at a great price. I also can't resist looking over the specials--older books and unique finds. Last time, I picked up a cookbook, a gardening reference, and some wonderful old Dana Girls mysteries by Carolyn Keene. This pseudonym was also used to write the Nancy Drew series, and although that series has been updated for modern readers, my goddaughter and I still like the older books. I wonder what I'll find this Saturday? I can't wait to see!
When librarian Debbie retired, she began volunteering with the Friends of Willow Glen Library (FWGL), her own neighborhood library. She knew FWGL has been able to purchase furniture, pay for special programs, and even enhance the library’s collections with its book sales proceeds.
One day, Debbie came across donations no one wanted to buy: Readers’ Digest Condensed books, with beautifully decorated hard covers. She'd heard there was a way to make a purse from a book, so she did what any librarian would: research! She downloaded patterns from the Internet and created prototypes to show the Friends. Now, besides selling books, the Friends handcraft one-of-a-kind purses; each takes about 12 hours to create. Book Purses were introduced to the public at the Friends’ April, 2011, book sale. Later, a line of E-book Reader Covers was added. To date, FWGL has sold 72 purses and e-reader covers.
FWGL relies on fabric, notions, and handles donations from members, Internet appeals (a local e-list and Freecycle), friends, and neighbors. Recently, the Friends have struck up a partnership with The Thrift Box on Lincoln Avenue, trading donated items that FWGL cannot sell for items like fabric and RDC books donated to the store. The WG Farmers’ Market and Comerica Bank have assisted with sales, advertising, and networking opportunities. Look for Book Purses and other items at your local Friends' next book sale.
Lake Travis in Texas, the Deschutes River in Oregon, and Captiva Island in Florida are are few of the vacation spots visited by Willow Glen area residents this summer. Postcards from these and other travelers are currently on display in the children's area at Willow Glen Library. Other local families have been to Minnesota, California's Avila Beach, Disneyland, and Universal Studios. Take a moment to enjoy the postcards and, better yet, send us one yourself and we'll display it too. You don't even have to worry about an address label or stamp -- both are included in our "Postcards From Novel Destinations" kits available next to the display. The postcard program is part of San Jose Public Library's Summer Reading Celebration.
April 10-16, 2011, was National Volunteer Week. The Willow Glen Branch Library thanked all its volunteers on Friday with a small celebration and tokens of appreciation. Also, Barbara Adams was announced as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year for Willow Glen Branch. Hooray, Barbara! Her name has been added to the plaque by the Tech Center. Saturday, the Friends of Willow Glen Library hosted their quarterly book sale. Everyone who donated, worked, or bought items at the sale is appreciated.
I have always loved libraries, and working at the library has shown me how many other people love the library, too. In the face of never-ending cutbacks, staff no longer have the time to devote to activities such as keeping the picture books free of smudgy little fingerprints, or cleaning the Tech Center keyboards with cotton swabs. The city has few resources to spare for luxuries such as patio furniture or very extensive, specialized magazine subscriptions. Children can listen to stories, or read to dogs, and everyone enjoys better, more extensive collections because of all of our volunteers, including the Friends of the Library. Donors, supporters, and volunteers are vital to making the library the place it is by helping with all of the above, plus by assisting staff with crafts and other family-friendly programs, tutor in the Tech Center, and host book clubs. Say "Thank you!" to a volunteer today!