27 June 2009

Multnomah County Library, Good Samaritan Dept

2112.If we needed any more proof that the Multnomah County Library is the best damn library anywhere, check out the kind of good deed they do.

Around our house we check out a hell of a lot of books. We were working the MultCoLib for budget entertainment long before you staycationers and recession-victims figured out you could get a night of DVD entertainment for nothing there. The Libe is, without a doubt, one of the bestest places in the universe and rightfully a pride of Metro Portland.

Since we check out a metric tail-load of books from there, sometimes we use whatever's to had for bookmarks; napkins, flattened straws … even paycheck stubs in envelopes.

Recently I returned a stack, not knowing that i'd left a paystub in there (not to worry, we have direct-deposit; the funds represented by that slip of paper were, at that point, safe and sound). Time elapses. Last night, we go to the mailbox (the actual one on the street) and retrieve what looks like mail to me from … my workplace of all places. And it looks like a paystub envelope.

Puzzlemente! But when we turn the envelope over, we see this:

If it's hard to read, it says "You left this in a library book: Color Graphics. Have a Great Summer".

The way I figure it, it was most likely a library employee who caught it, in as much as it was returned with a Pitney Bowes postal meter stamp. There's a chance it could have been a private party, but the postal meter stamp argues against it. It was neatly sealed across the top with cellotape (thankfully I use a pocket knife to open my correspondence)

Not only did the Multnomah County Library return to me a potentially vital piece of personal documentation, they potentially saved this household from the scourge of ID theft. All because some Library worker, wanting to anonymously do the right thing, did so.


Multnomah County Library; you want any tax increase, any at all, you got my "yes" vote in perpetuity for restoring a little of my bruised, jaundiced faith in humanity. I also remember I need to go put a book or two on hold.

Thank you, MultCoLib!

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Anonymous said...

Just want to say that I work for Fort Vancouver Regional Library (across the river in Vancouver, WA) and we do the same thing, if there's a name to the item in a returned item, we at least give them a call--used to be able to just mail it, but we got hit hard with budget woes this year, as likely did Multnomah County Library, I'd imagine. It is nice to hear someone be positive about something a library employee did (even if not my library district). Thanks!

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

You're welcome, anon. There are a lot of naifs out there who just look for chances to hypercriticize and dogpile on public employees. I am decidedly not one of them.

But I am truly grateful. And whoever did the good deed just did it, didn't ask for credit, didn't do it to get bragging rights, just did it because, obviously, it's something they would have wanted someone do to them if they were in that spot. It's the Golden Rule in practice.

No matter what, libraries and librarians are me and my wife's heroes, and that's completely sincere.

Anonymous said...

This has been making the email rounds between staff at MCL. thanks very much for your positive comments...
and thanks for using your library!

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

You're welcome, and You're welcome!

Actually the stock is half the reason we use the Libe. The staff is the other half.

You guys have always rocked.