Jinny Ussel has worked in school and public libraries in three states over the past 23 years. Currently, she is the Training and Design Specialist at Boone County Public Library.
Have you ever wondered why Library staff members often wear jeans on the first Friday of the month? Since 2007, we have been making personal donations to worthy causes each month and wearing jeans to show our support of the recipient organizations. Jeans Days have been very popular with both staff and the organizations who receive the donations.
Each year, staff members suggest the organizations to support. Many of the organizations have a personal connection to our staff, like Down’s Syndrome and Xeroderma Pigmentosum Society. Some of our past Jeans Day recipients have included the Boone County Animal Shelter and school resource centers. The usual Jean’s Day donation is $5 per staff member, but we also donate toys, school supplies, clothing, and even food, as needed.
When a special need arises, we often make changes to our donation schedule to accommodate it. The Library was asked to help out with the Boone County K-Count (formerly called Point-in-Time Homeless Count) in January. Staff members donated warm hats, jackets, socks, etc and then some of our staff members went out into the community to help distribute them. When the tornado struck our area in March, we held a Jean’s Day to collect money for some of our own staff members who suffered property damage. When we were alerted to the fact that the Walton Senior Center needed money, we added an extra Jeans Day just for them. Because there are many people in Boone County struggling to buy food, we held two Jeans Days in July to pay for a visit to our community from the Freestore FoodBank.
Giving back is important to the staff of Boone County Public Library and our Jeans Days are just one way we can show support for those in need and contribute to causes that rely on contributions for research. Staff donations totaled over $3200 in 2012 and we have already started making gifts and wearing jeans in 2013.
In February, we partner with library customers for our annual Food for Fines event. Last year, we collected 38 boxes of food for school resource centers to distribute to local families in need. Food for Fines kicks off this year on February 1 and runs until February 10. How can you help? The Library will waive $1 in current overdue fines for each can or package of food donated during the drive (a maximum of $20 can be waived). Donations may not be used to waive replacement fees for lost or damaged items or collection agency fees. Don’t have any overdue fines? That’s okay; you don’t need to have fines to participate. All donations are gratefully accepted. Food may be dropped off at any Boone County Public Library location. Bring a can down to your local Library and help feed our community!