Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday Night Fun Highlight of the Week

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) What genealogy fun have you had this week?  What is your genealogy highlight of the week?  It could be attending the NGS conference, it could be finding a new ancestor, or it could be reading a new genealogy book, or anything else that you have enjoyed.

Well May 10th was the last day for the Spokane Public Library director Pat Partovi, she retired after 19 years with the Spokane Public Library. Eastern Washington Genealogical Society has been partnering with the Spokane Public Library since 1935 and it has been a good partnership.
I started volunteering at the library in 1993, because the library was in a temporary location in the old JC Penny's building and the genealogy section was right inside the east door. So many homeless people came in and sat in the genealogy section that they were recruiting men to volunteer in the evenings. In January of 1994 the new building opened up and Pat was the head of that new branch (actually it also houses all the administration and behind the scenes services). In 1998 I switched from being a gene helper in the library to doing research for others. Soon because of budget cuts they cut the hours of all the branches, and so about 2000 I started to go to the library board meetings to see what they were going to do next. About 2002 the library director retired and they did a search for a new library director, and soon we had a new library director, but she was offered a library job near her family and so she resigned. Pat became the interim library director, and they asked her if she was interested in the job full time, but since she had only been interim director a few days she said she was not sure. A couple of months later they asked her again and she said yes, so since 2003 Pat was the library director and I continued to go to the library board meetings, and even applied three times to be a library board member. Pat was always there encouraging me even though I never made it to the board. The mayor has the final say on who serves on the library board and they pick the top three to send to to the mayor. I was not picked by three different mayors over the years.  The next opening is in 2014 and I am not sure I will apply again. The library staff and library foundation threw Pat a retirement party on May 2 and I was invited, so thanks to all that thought of me.
So now the fun part; I asked if EWGS could give Pat something more than just a retirement card, and so with a little E-mailing we decided on a travel journal since Pat does like to travel. At our regular May 4th EWGS meeting we invited Pat and I had the privilege of presenting the gift near the beginning of the meeting and I also gave her a picture of two EWGS members passing books from the old Penny's building to the new library on the opening day of the new library, Pat's first day with the Spokane Public Library. The surprised look on Pat's face when I held up the gift for her is something I will never forget, thanks Pat, happy retirement.

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