Boca Raton, FL - Dana Small, volunteer, Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library bookstore, downtown Boca Raton Public Library
Q: Have long have you been volunteering with the Friends?
A: Approximately 6 months. I wanted to volunteer for years, but didn't think I had the time, as I work long hours. I was a long-time customer of the bookstore, and one day Teri Fisher (bookstore volunteer) and Geri Allerman (Friends Board member) asked me if I was interested in volunteering one morning a week. I am really enjoying it, and have started a new shelf in the bookstore, the Bestseller Section, based on the New York Times Bestseller List. I also started other shelves based on what I think people may most like to read, which include book club books, books recommended for everyone to read, and books made into a mini-series or a movie. I go to the bookstore a few days a week to keep updating the books on these shelves. By nature, I am a sorter, an organizer. It's fun to see what new books come in, and then sort them on the shelves.
Q: What's your favorite thing about volunteering at the bookstore?
A: The nice people I meet! I have made some new friendships among the other volunteers at the bookstore, and feel lucky to know such interesting people. We all recommend books to each other. Some of our customers are "repeat customers," so we build new relationships. I think most of us have a book we are interested in reading, or a movie we want to watch. So when that book or movie gets donated, we are so happy to find it. I laugh every time I hear a fellow volunteer say, " I can't go home with another book today!" And then you donate it back for someone else to enjoy.
Q: What are your favorite books that the bookstore sells and why?
A: My favorite books at the bookstore are current novels and mysteries. Some that stand out are, "Once We were Brothers" by Ronald Balson, "The Paris Architect" by Charles BelfoureI, "The Space Between Us" by Thrity Umrigar, and "The Art of Racing In the Rain" by Garth Stein.
The bookstore has a great classics section so I've been trying to do some "catching up." I have also been reading older novels. Taylor Caldwell is my new "kick". In addition, I enjoy true stories like ""An Invisible Thread" by Laura Schroff, "Helter Skelter" by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry, and "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer. But my all time favorites are "Catcher In the Rye," "A Brave New World," and sagas like, "The Thorn Birds" by Colleen McCullough, "Kane & Abel" by Jeffrey Archer, and "A Dangerous Fortune" by Ken Follet. A customer just recommended, "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats" by Jan- Philipp Senker, and I really enjoyed it.
I have always kept lists of books I have read, and books I want to read. Every Sunday I read the NY Times Book Section to keep up-to-date with current books, and I ask everyone what books they are reading, or what books are on their book club lists.
Q: What is something people might not know about you?
A: I studied at UCLA, and lived in the Caribbean for 3 years after college. In the summers I sailed through the islands. My husband and I got engaged on St. Maarten and married on Anguilla. I love to travel (Italy is my favorite destination). I especially like cities, and beach vacations (you get to read a lot!).
I was a travel agent for the first 15 years that I lived in Florida. Now I am the CFO of my husband's trucking company, Pioneer Logistics Systems, Inc. We specialize in small package, LTL and Truckloads, nationwide. I have been working with him for 19 years. Our main office is in New Jersey where I grew up, and I feel fortunate that I still get to spend time in NYC, which I love, and with my family up north.
Q: What do you think is an underused feature of the library?
A: The most underused feature of the library is: "The Library!" It just amazes me that more people do not use our libraries. They offer something for everyone - books, movies, activities, the children's and teen section, and of course, our bookstore! In addition to books, you can request and put other library items on hold, including movies. And now at the bookstore, we are offering a "find your book" service for book clubs and summer reading lists. Come in to the bookstore and see me to inquire, or email me at