Today, I received an unsolicited letter of recommendation on LinkedIn from Lisa Doig, my former supervisor at the Holly Hill branch of the Volusia County Public Library, where I volunteered from January to November 2006 and was employed from 11/16/2006 to 6/13/2008. It can be seen here (by LinkedIn users who are logged in) and says:
“Richard was a truly extraordinary asset to the Holly Hill Library. He was so patient and kind in answering all patrons’ most complicated computer questions; he was always an enthusiastic contributor and participant in library programs and activities; an extremely talented photographer and musician willing to share his work and music with all of us; and otherwise a brilliant, well mannered, well liked young man destined to go very far in his professional journey.”
I enjoyed working at the library under Lisa and she has a passion for helping people find information and for emergency and disaster management. In 2007, I recall her returning from several emergency preparedness drills and conferences with great enthusiasm, stories, and photos detailing what she had learned. Lisa is fluent in Spanish and I wish her the best as she continues in the Volusia County library system while working toward her calling in emergency management, with an emphasis on helping the Hispanic community and non-English speakers.
The Holly Hill, FL library first opened in 1964. It was located at 1066 Ridgewood Ave., Holly Hill, FL when it closed in 2010, but Volusia County continued providing public computers and book vending machines until 2013, which were then also removed. Located at 1066 Ridgewood Ave. (U.S. Highway 1), Holly Hill, FL across the street from the Holly Hill City Hall, it is now a museum and education center (which was previously co-located with the computers and book vending machines).
In my volunteering and employment at the library from 2006 to 2008, I observed many patrons who relied on the library not only for the books, films, audio recordings, and computer access available there, but also for inter-branch loans that were provided for free to Volusia County library card holders from 15 other branches in the county, by a daily courier service that, like the library, was funded by property tax revenue. Patrons could request an item from any library branch in the county and have it arrive in Holly Hill, often within 2-3 days if it was on shelf at the originating branch. They could then return it to the Holly Hill branch as well, and thus many patrons who did not have a car were still able to have free access to over a million physical books and audiovisual recordings. It is a shame that such an important cultural and educational service is no longer being provided in a depressed neighborhood, which was evidenced by numerous bicycle thefts that occurred frequently at the library.