Kate Pappas…Adding value in Rainier Beach

What a terrific testimony to being involved and appreciated by one’s community….

Name

Kate Pappas

Branch   

Rainier Beach    

What is your favorite word? 

I think “thanks” is about the best word around!       

What word do you wish you had made up? 

After cleaning my windshield, I’d have to say I wish I’d made up the word “squeegee” because it sounds so funny, exactly like what it does after you Windex the window.

How did you become librarian of your branch?

I worked at the old Holly Park branch, and had some hours at Rainier Beach. During a musical chairs redistribution of CSL staff,  the rest of my hours got shifted to The Beach. I discovered  then that I liked being there full-time, and I still do.

What is on your desk right now?

Right now, there is a puppet cat named “Midnight,” five little toy mice that came as prizes in bags of “Good Mews” kitty litter, some children’s paperbacks, a flannel board set that I need to put away, a little Polish doll and a pair of Mickey and Minnie salt and pepper shakers.

 

 

(We won’t mention the calendar, photos and comic strips on the bulletin board)       

Tell us about your library. 

Our library is one of the best in the world. We are the most-southeasterly of the city libraries, in a diverse neighborhood not too far from Lake Washington. Our building theme (after Libraries For All) suggests a beach. We have wavy bulletin boards, ripple designs in our pavement, and restful beach colors of sand and soft blue. The children’s area (my personal favorite –can you tell that I’m a children’s librarian?) even has bookcases with frogs, cat-tails and a sea-gull.       

How long have you been at the branch?

Part-time since 1989 and full-time since 1995 (except, of course, when I was redeployed during the remodeling)       

What other posts do you hold in your community?

none–“children’s librarian” is fine with me   

What is the biggest impact the capitol campaign has had on your branch?    

We have changed from a dingy, industrial, gloomy facility, to a bright and inviting building with increased space, study rooms, and inviting lighting. I love to see the faces of people who haven’t been here for a while, who remember the old branch. They always have compliments and they always comment about how they liked how it has changed. Of course, we always respond with “Thank you–it’s nice to hear that; we like it too!”    

How does your relationship with the community affect your programming?    

My long-term relationship with the Rainier Beach community affects my programming in two ways.
First, of course, people seem to think of me as a ‘community helper and friend.”  Many of them know me and recognize me, as they did at a recent community event held in a local park (we had a table next to other community organizations at a “Back 2 School Bash” picnic where children were given backpacks filled with school supplies) 

 

School children are delighted to walk in and see me because, they tell me, “You came to my school!” Parents and teachers have also gotten to know me, and it has been my joy to watch so many young people grow up and mature. Some area child care centers have asked me to visit them and do presentations on Early Literacy. I feel that the community considers me, overall, to be a useful member and welcomed all over.

 

Second, when planning library programs for our community, I try to think of programs which will appeal to our diverse and multicultural clientele. Amy Twito always has an excellent selection of summer programs from which we can choose. Valerie Wonder has helped us begin and continue story times held in Mandarin Chinese which have a small but loyally devoted audience.

 

 

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