by Donna Childs
Polymath: someone who knows a lot about many different things: that is Greg Frye. A search assistant and e-books volunteer at the Capitol Hill Library, Greg works full time, yet volunteers at Capitol Hill on Sundays. He has earned a law degree, and volunteered as a mediator with Multnomah County Small Claims Court. In addition, he has a Masters in Education and a Masters in Library Science. He is also an accomplished fused-glass artist who sells his creations at the Saturday Market; he was involved in the 2014 Gathering of the Guilds in Portland, which featured artisans from around the country. He does tech support and has taught computing at Catlin Gabel School, as well as at the library. In his words, “I am comfortable with having a lot on my plate.” Since computer science is not among his many degrees, I asked about his path to computer expertise. His answer unveiled more interests: he started with technical theater as a youth, which led him to AV, which then evolved into computing.
Greg’s contributions at Capitol Hill are also varied. In addition to pulling holds from paging lists and helping with e-books, Greg has handled both incoming and outgoing holds and processed them, as well as locating them. He assists with various special library programs; he has worked on training videos for using e-books; he helps library users get set up and learn to borrow digital books and he completed age-friendly certification assessments at both Capitol Hill and another library, rating how useable the libraries are for older patrons.
Having worked in libraries all his adult life, Greg said what he most likes about them is the availability of so much information and different points of view on many subjects. Because he taught children at Catlin Gabel, he is especially concerned with opening young minds to new ideas. And if anyone embodies the love of pursuing information, learning, and ideas in many and varied fields, it is Greg Frye.
A Few Facts About Greg
Home library: Capitol Hill Library
Currently reading: Asking for It: the Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It, by Kate Harding
Most influential book: works by M.K. Gandhi
Guilty pleasure: Fantasy, e.g. David Eddings
Favorite book from childhood: The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
A book that has made you laugh or cry: So, Anyway… by John Cleese
Favorite section of the library: I’m not sure I can pick just one. I like YA fiction, poetry, historical fiction, fantasy, mysteries.
E-reader or paper books: It depends on what I’m doing. Travelling? Give me the ease of multiple books on one device. At home? On lunch break? Paper any day.
Favorite place to read: Curled up on the couch with a snack and a beverage.
Thanks for reading the MCL Volunteer Spotlight. Stay tuned for our next edition coming soon! Read last month's Volunteer Spotlight.