This past week, we've been mourning the death of another of our dedicated volunteers, Tom Witt. Tom spent a few hours at HPL every morning, Monday through Friday, bright and early. He did the hard work of unloading our delivery totes, which involves a lot of bending and lifting, and he also mended damaged books. He was the first person many of us saw when we walked into the library each day, and he'd rush to open the door for us if he saw that our hands were full. I'd ask him how he was when I saw him, and his answers were always different, often funny: "Never better," "Awake," "Taking Nourishment."
Tom's dedication to the library, his community, and the idea of service is inspiring and rare. He performed tasks that are essential to our operations that are also physically taxing and somewhat tedious, and he brought excellence to and took pride in his work. He supported staff as well as the other volunteers he worked with through small kind gestures like holding the door or bringing in cookies or smiling and saying hello. The library is not the same without him, and we miss him.