You meet interesting people at the library
by Donna Childs
We know that libraries are full of stories, but they aren’t all between the book covers. The staff and volunteers may have stories too. Take Pat Daggett who enters holds data at the Sellwood Library every Tuesday. Who would know that she and her husband lived in Saudi Arabia for four years? A transportation expert, he helped the Saudis set up a bus system, while she did office work for the US Army Corps of Engineers. After returning to the US with a new understanding of the region, they answered an ad to host Middle Eastern students. That led to ten years of serving as second parents to students from Saudi Arabia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Not only do the young people keep in touch after returning home, one called when a new student was arriving. He asked to speak to the new fellow to ensure that they’d be ok. In addition to forming close friendships with their charges, they saw this venture as an “opportunity to create tolerance.”
In addition to the Corps of Engineers, Pat has worked for such diverse organizations as Reed College, AT&T, a congressman in Washington DC, attorneys in Ohio and Delaware, and the Oregon State Legislature. She also spent 19 years working in many capacities at the American Tinnitus Association, where she became an expert in hearing issues.
With a BA in Library Science, Pat was also an elementary school librarian for two years. As a member of the University Club’s Library Committee, she helps choose books for the club’s library and organize an annual dinner featuring a local writer as guest speaker. Thus, it seemed natural for Pat to volunteer at Sellwood when she retired. At first, she canvassed the library searching for holds, but now foot problems have necessitated a more sedentary task: processing data on holds coming from and going to other County libraries. Like many volunteers who work with holds, she relishes the chance to discover new books, and she enjoys Sellwood’s intimate atmosphere where she can get to know staff and patrons.
A few facts about Pat
Home library: Sellwood
Currently reading: Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent
Favorite book from childhood: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Favorite section of the library: Historical fiction and geography
E-reader or paper book? paper
Favorite reading guilty pleasure: before/during chores
Favorite place to read: in a patch of sun