Volunteer Spotlight: Katie Patterson

Must love books. And dogs.

Photo of Katie Patterson, library volunteer

by Sarah Binns 

Over the years writing for the Volunteer Spotlight I’ve met people who volunteer with the library because they are passionate about reading. I’ve met just as many people who volunteer because they are passionate about giving back to their community. This month, Katie Patterson became my first interviewee who is pursuing a degree in librarianship, in part because of her time volunteering at Hillsdale Library.

Katie grew up reading, but she only recently realized librarianship is in her future. After completing her undergraduate degree at Seattle University, Katie and her partner returned to Portland. Her partner then started an online Master of Library Science (MLS) program through Emporia State University. Intrigued, but wanting to explore her options, Katie decided to volunteer in both a first-grade classroom and at Hillsdale Library as their storytime assistant, facilitating their preschool storytime and book babies. “I got hooked on the library right away,” she says.

Every Monday morning Katie picks books to be read at Hillsdale’s storytime and helps the librarian oversee the event. “I love it,” she says. “It’s the highlight of my week.” She enjoys developing a relationship with the little ones and “watching them be excited about reading, it makes me hopeful.” Katie’s eyes light up when talking about Hillsdale and says she hopes to volunteer there as long as she can.

Another thing that makes her eyes light up? Talking about dogs. When not at the library Katie is a manager at Hair of the Dog, a dog grooming shop on Alberta. “I’ve worked with dogs for 12 years,” she says, “It’s my favorite thing.” She currently has too much on her plate for her own dog but hopes that will change.

As for librarianship, Katie started her MLS degree with Emporia a year ago. She’ll graduate with a youth services certificate with an eye to becoming a youth services librarian in Multnomah County. “That’s the dream,” she says with a smile. Here’s to a future full of books, babies, and dogs!


A few facts about Katie

Home library: Albina

Currently reading: She reads two YA novels a week for her YA literature class. “I’m starting Red Planet today.”

Most influential book: Heart of Darkness changed the way I think about literature. It’s so complex. The more I read, the more interesting it became.”

Favorite book from childhood: Bridge to Terabithia and Harriet the Spy.

Favorite browsing section: Picture books, when she can pick a book for storytime.

Guilty pleasure: Hunger Games.

Book that made her cry: Any book where a dog dies.

Favorite place to read: “On my balcony. The weather doesn’t always cooperate.”

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