News from the Senior Librarian

Important breaking news! On December 20, Adult Librarian II Sherry Van Sickle accepted a promotion to Librarian III and transferred to Mid-Valley Regional Library on January 13, 2003.

Left to right: Terry Haney, Jan Metzler, Sherry Van Sickle, and Millie Berger, with a ‘quillow’ (convertible quilt/pillow) crafted by Millie as the Friends’ farewell gift for Sherry.

As so often happens with co-workers who richly deserve advancement, the Platt Staff and I offered heartfelt congratulations along with our tears.

However, the Adult Librarian III position at Mid-Valley will enable Sherry to put her outstanding knowledge of computers and her experience with programming for adults to use. As well as coordinating new training workshops in the Mid-Valley computer lab, she will be designing innovative events for the entire ten-branch West Valley Area. And of course, she will continue to be the excellent public service librarian she is…this time at the busiest branch in the LAPL system.

When I interviewed and recommended hiring Sherry for the Children's Librarian position at Encino-Tarzana (September ’87), I knew I was going to have a very special person on my staff. Our 7 years of working closely together (and with only three librarians total, in a small outdated building, we did work closely!) reinforced my initial impression. I respected Sherry so much that I asked her to consider driving a bit further west to join me at the new Platt Branch. She agreed as long as she could be the Adult Librarian.

Many of you may recall we were given a mere 3 weeks to prepare this new branch for its grand opening. Sherry was, in her unflappable way, everywhere and anywhere—helping me and the newly hired, less-experienced staff unpack boxes, sort out our new collection, and make sense of the modern equipment no one knew how to operate.

For those of you who don't know, Sherry loves “tinkering” with mechanical things. Since those beginning weeks in April ’95, she has been the mainstay for the Information Desk and staff workroom. Anything that had “yesterday's deadline” went to Sherry. Anything that no one else wanted to do went to Sherry. Anything that no one else knew how to do…went to Sherry! And in spite of Platt's hectic environment and demands on the desk, she managed beautifully to DO IT ALL! And in between, she taught herself innumerable aspects of computers, read countless books that she then shared with each patron who asked for that “special read,” and assisted during staffing emergencies.

Is it any wonder we cried when she announced her good news?

Sherry shows off a parting-party present from Platt Library staff.

Sherry says out of sight certainly won't be out of mind. This was a very difficult decision. She will especially miss “all the staff members who have put up with my interminable bad jokes and lame puns (Bruce is the designated heir).” And “Shel's cart-after-cart offerings in the workroom.” And “The outstanding support from Platt's ‘Best of Breed’ Friends members.” And—her words—“Jan's incredible memory that has always supplemented my leaky sieve of a mind and kept me on track.”

Right. A life's career needs to keep moving forward. Since she started as a Messenger Clerk, Sherry has been working her way up through LAPL's many layers, mostly in her native San Fernando Valley. She received her Bachelor's in English from CSUN, her MSLS from USC, and rose to Children's Librarian. After a side-trip to Durango, Colorado, where she continued her career as a para-librarian and head of Reference, she returned to the Valley, joining me at Encino-Tarzana. With her notable performance there and here, it's no wonder she was offered the opportunity to share her talents with LAPL's entire West Valley Area.

For Platt's staff and patrons alike, the good news is that, although Platt is losing a dear Adult Librarian, we're gaining a classy Class III Librarian who can devote more time and energy to expanding our computer program offerings. Way to go, Sherry!

Jan Metzler, Senior Librarian

Meet Platt's New Computer Aide


At long last! On December 2nd, Bernie Singer joined Platt's staff as Messenger Clerk/Computer Aide. He will be on hand weekday afternoons to assist you with Platt's computers.

Originally from New York, Bernie moved to California in 1969 and founded his own threaded fastener (screw) manufacturing and distribution business, which his two sons still own and operate. Upon retiring 15 years ago, he volunteered time teaching computer skills at West Valley Senior Center. His wife, a Special Education teacher at Danube Area School, saw LAPL's call for computer-savvy applicants and urged him to go for it. And here he is. Be sure to take a minute to welcome Bernie with a rousing “Boy, are we glad you finally got here!”

Santa Claus Came to Town


Santa not only came to town, he came to Platt Branch as well. During the month of December, Mr. Claus graced the shelves of our library display cabinet. Nina Wilson kindly lent her fantastic collection of Santas for all to enjoy. There were big ones, and tiny ones, fat and jolly ones, and even some long thin ones. Thank you Nina, for adding immensely to our holiday spirit.


The January display honored the wonderful Platt Branch volunteers. The total number of hours these dedicated people provide in service to the library each year is amazing. Some individuals have given continuous service to Platt for 9 years—even during the period before the library was officially opened to the public. Our hats are off to these caring people.

Millie Berger, Past President

Santa photos by Dan Strauss


The Friends of the Platt Library Newsletter is produced and maintained by Hearn/Perrell Art Associates. Editor: Therese Hearn
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