Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{February 16, 2011}   Fleecing JoAnn Fabrics…

Who the heck shoplifts at JoAnn’s Fabrics? That’s the question of the week. I paid a visit to the local JoAnn’s the other night. I’m not a crafter myself, but was with a couple gal pals who were making fleece blankets. As they decided on which fleece was the most cozy…I walked up and down the aisles.  When I turned the corner to go up another aisle, I ran into a cart full of everything…it was like a miniature store in someone’s cart. No rhyme or reason to why all this stuff was in her cart. It was like one of those carts that you see behind the counter of items that need to be returned to their place on the shelf.

It was a young girl, obviously there with her mum, hauling the cart and hoping not to clip her heals from following too closely. I got a good look at her, smiled and moved aside for her to make the turn.

As my party partied in the fleece section, my interest in crafts and crochet had ended so I chose to sit by the exit in a chair and text…and people watch and text some more. It was pretty busy. People love their fabric, but JoAnn’s had lots more to offer. It’s almost an all out craft store anymore. Long gone are the days of the bolts of fabric thump, thump, thump on the table and quooo, quooo, quooo (gutteral sounds) of the scissors cutting the fabric on the table. It was hustle and bustle of lots of cutesy, craftsy and clever things. Men, Women, Children, Families, and all Nationalities represented.

As I went to clear yet another text, I noticed my chick from aisle 14 walking right past me with her mounded shopping cart of eclectic items….straight out the entrance.

…That did not just happen??? I looked around, everyone was still carrying on…no big deal. I walked over to the service desk, she was helping a customer but I butted right in and told her someone just walked out with a ton of stuff. I don’t care what the economy is…you don’t steal!…and you don’t steal from JoAnn’s Fabrics!

Long story short, the police came, they got the girl, they got the mom, JoAnn’s got their stuff back and I got a 60% off discount even though I said I was just doing the right thing…

When they brought all the stuff in that she had in her cart, there was a fleece blanket. She had fleeced the fleece…but I thwarted it.

No matter where you are at, always be ready to put your wonder woman on…crime doesn’t pay.



Is it a good thing that Court Ordered Probation and Diversion Volunteers are coming back to me to get their hours for different offenses?

Glass half empty~ They didn’t learn their lesson? Glass half full~ They enjoyed their community service the first time with the library, they want to come back.

I actually have quite a few volunteers who finish their service only to want to stay on and continue to volunteer with us. I’ve always stated to everyone I talk with on both sides, I’m not in the punishment business. I’m not going to make our Court Ordered Community Service gang clean the bathroom floor with a toothbrush. I don’t brand them with a big CS on their chests in red and march them around the library like a chain gang.

We are a public building and as a public building, who knows what secrets we all have as we come in. The one thing we do all have in common is that we enjoy the library and what it has to offer the community. Now, we have limitations…No Sex Crimes, No Child Abuse and No Theft. I’m very firm on the Sex Crimes and Abuse, but theft is discretionary. As with all volunteers, I listen to their stories. I hold an interview with everyone that wants to volunteer for at least 45 minutes. I rely on first impressions. I like respect and kindness, a good sense of humor and honesty.

I also take Felons. It’s amazing what classifies someone as a felon, but if they are coming to me for probation, I have to think what classifies them as a felon might not be as bad as it sounds. I had a young man in his 30’s who was having dinner with his grandmother. She poured him a glass of wine, he took a sip, spilled some on his shirt, and then the phone rang. Her prescription was ready at the drug store up the street. He said he’d go get it for her, pulled in to the pharmacy drive through, the pharmacist knew him and as usual practice said, be careful…he pulled out of the pharmacy, didn’t use a turn signal and was pulled over for a traffic violation. The officer smelled the alcohol, searched his car and found a prescription not belonging to him. Felony possession among other things.

I guess you can make up that story, but it’s something that can easily happen to me as if I was getting something for my dad. I gave him a chance and he did a great job and is still with us as his time permits.

When I’d sign off on the final probation paperwork, I used to say “I hope I don’t see you anymore…”, now I just tell them to be careful out there and be good. I never know if they are going to come back!

et cetera
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