We are fortunate to have great collaborative relationships with our Winters Community Library staff and the staff of the Yolo County Library. We work closely together to identify the specific needs of the Winters Community and how the Winters Friends of the Library can support and enhance our library programming.
The library has been very willing to work with our sometimes innovative and unusual ideas compared to many traditional friends of the library groups. We all benefit when we bring our creativity together for the good of the community.
We decided it would be great to get to know our staff and volunteers better, and this article will be the first in a series of interviews.
Please meet Toni Mendietta, our Winters Community Library Branch Supervisor.
Why do you love libraries?
In times of ever increasing tuition costs and reduced educational services, the Winters Community Library and the Yolo County Library system are an excellent resource for community residents to enhance their attainment of knowledge, develop their reading skills and utilize self-help materials to improve their social and career opportunities.
Now, more than ever, is the time to reacquaint yourself and your family with your local library. Additionally, there are so many opportunities for people from all walks of life and varying age groups to participate in library-sponsored programs and become involved in community development and growth.
As an employee, the library provides me with a unique opportunity to view the world with compassionate, caring, and fresh eyes, and a strong heart. I get to witness people of all ages grow spiritually and intellectually, I get to see families grow in size and in the love and admiration for each other. I get to witness patrons help and encourage one another. I see how people share space together, learn together, and laugh together every day. This is sacred, special and wonderful. This is why I love public libraries. At the library, we create a community of change, love, and togetherness – we get to problem solve, forgive, and move forward, together…this is meaningful work, because, really, everyone is involved.
21 months ago, I became the mother of a wonderful little boy, Calixto Thunder. In raising and caring for him, I have learned so many lessons that I have applied daily at work: I read 20 minutes a day, play, sing, dance, talk to the children every day, on any topic no matter how silly it may be. I learned to forgive myself and be in the present; it’s simple, but powerful magic.
What are looking forward now that you are back at the Winters Community Library?
I’m looking forward to reacquaint myself to the community, especially with our young ones.
This is an exciting time. There are so many issues going on in the world, it is comforting to know that we can work through challenges, together. I look forward to getting to know the needs of the community, especially the youth – our library is a safe place for everyone to learn and create together.
I have been gone for two years, so, really this is all fresh and new to me, and I’m excited to start this new journey with as much community participation and input as possible.
Winters is so wonderful at volunteerism and coming together when the community has a project to do or a need to fulfill. I’m fortunate to work in a community that values education, information, and literacy. I’m fortunate to work in a community that values young people.
What are you reading these days?
I have a lot of catching up to do on my reading. I’m currently reading several picture books, of course, especially anything with animals and trucks,’big, big Trucks’…as my son likes to say every time he spots one! But, I’m also simultaneously reading “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline and “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz.
I also recently read the “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo…this book changed my life! I have always had trouble getting rid of things: material, weight, emotions, ideas, art, etc., but now, with help from this book, I’ve been able to respectfully “let go” of “things that don’t spark joy,” in my life – this is exciting for me, personally and professionally. I’m finally getting rid of clutter at the library and in my house, allowing me more time to focus on my son and my work, instead of always “cleaning” and or being bogged down by clutter. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m no longer overwhelmed at the thought of ‘tidying up’.
What book has had a major impact on you?
“On Call” by June Jordan had a major impact on me, I read it every time I needed to be reminded about life, struggle, love, and literature. I also read it every time I started a new semester or quarter in high school and undergraduate studies. June Jordan holds a special place in my heart and I’m grateful to know her work. I had the opportunity to meet her in 2001 before she passed away from cancer.
Thanks to Toni for being our first interviewee and doing a great job for our library!
To learn more about the library or for volunteer opportunities at the library please contact Toni at 530-795-4955 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.