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Friends are the best!

May 9, 2011
Pat Stephenson
On Thursday, May 5, one of our Friends of the Library, Pat Stephenson, was the recipient of the Rochester School district’s human relations award for her contributions to Bamber Valley School, the District and our community. Below is our letter of support for her nomination.


We would love to contribute to the nomination of Pat Stephenson for the Rochester Public School District Employee Human Relations Award.

Pat first started volunteering here at Rochester Public Library 32 years ago. She has served many years on the Friends of the Library board and is a past president. She has volunteered in our Friends bookstore since it’s inception in 1995 and ran many of our amazing and amazingly successful booksales. Whether working alongside volunteers, staff or assisting the public, Pat’s fun personality, positive attitude and knowledge are always evident.

As a member of the Friends Pat has been one of our most positive proponents of early childhood literacy. She has single handedly run our Friends  ‘Read with Me” program ensuring all new born babies in Rochester receive a bag, new book and information about the  library. She also delivers our surplus used children’s books to Channel One for distribution.

Pat, however, is also very committed to lifelong learning and she also has also sent  our surplus books to troops overseas, some of the thank you letters she has received really highlight how much they appreciated this.

Enthusiasm, reliability, resourcefulness, Pat has many skills but one exceptional thing that we have benefitted from is Pat ‘s ability to use her initiative and adapt to changing times. For years we were not able to accept donated textbooks because we had no market for them, but Pat found online organizations who would buy text book on line and began selling those items for the Friends. Together with some volunteers she trained to help her last year they raised over $20,000 for the Friends, this money then is used for programing etc within the Library. Needless to say we now accept textbooks.

At the moment Pat is our acting bookstore manager as she covers for Mary who is taking a short leave of absence, her willingness to help out garners her much respect and gratitude from her fellow volunteers and staff.

We couldn’t even begin to calculate the volunteer hours Pat has given to our library, it must be tens of thousands by now but we can tell you that because of her efforts our volunteer program has benefitted, our staff  have benefitted, our library has benefitted but most importantly everyone in our community has benefitted.

We sincerely hopes she receives this award as it really couldn’t go to a more deserving person!


Congratulations Pat!

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