Betty Elmore of GlenelgAbout Mrs. Elmore: She retired in...

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

August 01, 1993

Betty Elmore of Glenelg

About Mrs. Elmore: She retired in 1990 from the library of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. During her 15 years with the government, she also worked in the libraries of the Office of Administration, the Office of the President and the Office of Budget and Management.

She enjoys reading and serves as a volunteer at several places. She volunteers at the Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, working on the computer, filing and stuffing envelopes; and at the Maryland State Police, where she works with an analyst, clipping newspaper articles, filing and making phone calls.

At the Howard County Library, she volunteers in the technical services division, where she looks up copy for the person who does cataloging. During the school year, she volunteers at her grandson's school, West Friendship Elementary.

Organization's comments: At the Domestic Violence Center, Mrs. Elmore works on the computer and helped to form a data base, compiling names of clients. The center helps victims of abuse and has a 24-hour hot line.

"Betty has been great. She has been with us for about two years," said Stephanie Sites, executive director at the center.

"She works in our client data base. She actually learned the computer. She probably knows more about it than the staff. She also brings in stuff for the clients, laundry detergent, toys for the children, food. She never comes in empty-handed. She always has a smile for everyone. She is just a joy to be around," she added.

The technical services staff of the Howard County Library are the behind-the-scenes folks who order, receive, catalog and process new materials as well as enter the data for those materials into a computer.

"Betty Elmore has been with us the longest," said Holly Johnson, supervisor of the technical services staff. "She's worked almost 800 hours since October 1990. Betty has helped in the physical preparation of materials, but the majority of her time has been spent helping the catalogers who assign call number and provide name and subject access to all of the materials in the libraries collection."

Mrs. Elmore searches a data base for Library of Congress machine-readable cataloging records. When she finds a match, she prints out the record for the catalogers to edit. She also searches for name and subject heading to keep consistency in the library data base.

All new materials, print and nonprint, are cataloged by one full-time and two part-time staff members.

"The hours of searching that Betty does for us would otherwise be done by cataloging staff and would dramatically slow down their productivity," Ms. Johnson said.

"Betty is so valuable to us because she has over 20 years of cataloging experience having worked at the University of Mississippi, the Office of Management and Budget, the executive office of the president and the Treasury Department," she said.

Ms. Johnson added: "What I like most about Betty is her sense of humor. She puts some life into the meticulous details of an exacting job."

Volunteer's comments: "I am retired and I have a lot of free time," said Mrs. Elmore, who lives with her daughter, son-in-law and grandson. "Once you retire you don't have money to contribute, so I have my time to offer. Every individual needs to be needed. It keeps me out of trouble.

"I enjoy doing it, the things that I do free up the professionals who can do things that I can't do. I call it scut work."

Her work at the library is important to her. "The libraries are always the first to get cut and the children suffer. They are our most important resource," she said.

To make a nomination or receive a nomination form, call Jill L. Kubatko at 715-2813 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nominations may be faxed to the office at 715-2816.

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