SPRINGVILLE -- Every Wednesday evening, Shannon Dalley and her daughter Zoe Dalley, 15, have mother-daughter time at the Springville Library. They are part of four generations of the Allred family who support their local library.
Although they do check out books together on Wednesdays, the Dalleys first spend more than an hour taking care of the activity kits for the children’s department and covering paperbacks.
“Every Wednesday for the past two years we have been checking in story kits, which have to be done by hand, and covering books,” said Shannon Dalley. “My daughter Zoe wanted to do service in our community and since our family loves the library, it was an obvious choice."
“It’s also been a great thing to spend time together," she said. "We are often the only two people in the room working so we have a chance to talk together.”
“It feels awesome to make a difference in my community, even if it’s just a little one," Zoe Dalley said. “I really enjoy reading in my spare time. I like fantasy and fiction like the book ‘Snow’ which is a retelling of the story of Snow White.”
Claudia Davenport, library circulation supervisor, paid tribute to the pair.
“Thanks to Shannon and Zoe, patrons receive materials much more quickly," she said. "These two women are so proficient that we have them handle our more detailed materials like hand checking children’s book activity kits, and covering paperback books with protective vinyl. It is common to hear them laughing and talking with one another while they work.”
Zoe’s grandmother Diana Williams volunteered with her daughter and granddaughter, moving books across the street to the new library when it opened in 2011.
“Zoe, Shannon and I spent many hours moving books to the new library from the old library and it was really fun to work together,” Williams said. “We all love the library and reading. I was in this week and chose some good books with the help of the ladies at the desk. Everyone is so helpful there.”
Library staff members are very well acquainted with the family, who come often to the library.
“Diana Williams has always been one of our frequent customers and is very well read both because of teaching background and personal reading," library employee Ann Miles said.
“Her parents, Wilna and Dale, come in to the library together," she continued. "Each carries a spiral notebook where they’ve cataloged past reading and noted books they want to search for in the library. This family is pleasant and self-sufficient, making everyone’s job enjoyable. They are true examples of life-long learning.”
Zoe’s great-grandparents are Wilna and Dale Allred. Long-time residents of Springville, their example of reading has made an impression on the young teen and helped her choose to volunteer at the library.
“My grandma and grandpa do a lot of reading,” said Zoe. “You always see a lot of books at their house and most of them are library books. They keep lists you can look at to see what they have read.”
Wilna Allred, 90, admits she doesn’t read as much as her husband, but she has more than one notebook filled with titles.
“We go to the library at least every three weeks and get enough books to last us,” said Wilna. “I like a good western or a romance. They have fewer characters to keep track of and my memory isn’t as good now that I’m 90.”
“Books are good entertainment," she said. "I’d rather read a book than watch TV and there aren’t any of those terrible commercials.”
Dale Allred, 91, reads 17 or 18 books every three weeks. His third notebook isn’t quite filled yet with authors and the titles he’s read, and is waiting to read.
“I like the mystery books," he said. "One of the authors I like is Parker and I’ve read over a hundred of his books. I like to get the new books from the library when they come out for the authors I like.
“I’ll see the best seller lists in The Daily Herald and write them down to ask John Averett to help me find them when I come to the library," he said. "John will come over and spend time helping my wife and me with our books. He knows what we like and he is just wonderful.”
John Averett, a library employee for 23 years, is the cataloger for the Springville Library. He makes a special effort to help patrons like the Allreds. Although busy processing new books, working with technical services and automation, supervising pages, and placing orders, Averett watches for elderly patrons who need a little help.
“One thing I’ve felt is important is to be of service to the older generation,” Averett said. “They deserve some personal care and to be treated with respect. I get a little emotional when I think about this.
“My mom, Pat Averett, was a cataloger at this library before me, and she taught me to care for all people. Sherry Wheeler was the circulation supervisor when I started at the old library and she was another example to me. I watched Sherry greet every single person who came through the door of the library and make them feel welcome.
“Whether a library patron is 2 years old or 80 years old, it’s important to watch for them and help them find what they are looking for. We have more than 90,000 items in here and it’s a big space. We want people to know that we acknowledge all of our patrons and can help them find what they are looking for. Helping the Allreds is something I enjoy doing.”