January 15, 2012 (Vol. 18, No. 2) – People

Steph Miller Recognized for Notable Transcript
Steph Miller L-net, Oregon’s Statewide Digital Reference Service recognizes Steph Miller at Multnomah County Library for her high quality virtual reference work while staffing the service in December 2011.  Steph’s transcript is online at http://www.oregonlibraries.net/notable.

This transcript begins as a simple telephone directory lookup; it is the kind of ready reference question that people supposedly don’t ask libraries anymore, because, “everything is on the internet”. An out-of-state patron asks for the phone number of a Sherwood resident. Steph quickly finds the phone number and confirms that it is the correct number using a second, authoritative source. What really impressed the Quality Team is the nature of the conversation that took place. The patron told Steph that he was trying to reach the son of a Vietnam War Prisoner-of-War. The patron had the father’s POW bracelet and wanted to be sure a family member received it. While still chatting online with Steph, the patron called the number. In tears, he spoke with a family member while Steph remained online in support.

In the early 1970s over 5 million POW/MIA metal bracelets were made and worn as a symbol of hope.  The bracelets transcended politics and were worn by Americans both opposed to and supportive of the Vietnam War.

The Quality Team always emphasizes the importance of a friendly, welcoming tone in virtual reference. It was the conversation between Steph and the patron that made what could have just been just another lookup into a meaningful connection with the library. Librarians often talk about how libraries change lives. With Steph’s blend of reference skill and compassion, she proves it.

As an expression of our appreciation, Steph was presented with flowers and a certificate.  Please join us in congratulating her!

Introducing Jerianne Thompson
Jerianne Thompson has joined the Tualatin Public Library as the Public Services Supervisor, overseeing adult and youth services and collection development. A native of Tennessee, Jerianne previously worked at the Linebaugh Public Library System in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She served for three years as the Collection Development Coordinator for the four-branch system; prior to that, she also worked as a Branch Supervisory Clerk and Reference Supervisory Clerk at LPLS libraries. She earned her Masters of Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Jerianne was actively involved in the Tennessee Library Association, where she served as the vice chair of the Technical Services Roundtable. She has been a strong advocate for including zines in library collections and has been involved with zine publishing for more than a decade.  She’s enjoying her relocation to the Pacific Northwest and looking forward to meeting her colleagues in other Oregon libraries. Welcome Jerianne!