Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Borrego Springs Library - Michael Voss


Last updated 6/22/2016 at 3:56pm

Yolandi Jooste

Sometimes the most simplistic of facades hides the most complexities of strength.

Speaking to Michael Voss the other day, I started off with one simple question "What's happening at the library?," it would have been a lot quicker to ask him, "What's not happening at the library?."

As usual, Michael and his team are in the middle of the thick of things, buried deep in not only keeping Borrego Springs' residents cool and entertained, but also welcoming folks from the surrounding areas as well.

The compelling thing when you talk to Michael isn't the fact that you speak to someone who is interested in the area and the customers who walk through the door, it's the fact that he actually cares about them. He knows their backgrounds, the joys and troubles they face and the achievements they are quietly celebrating. Achievements sometimes made possible only through the facilities provided by the library.

To be honest, he is a nightmare to interview. He only gets passionate and animated when he is talking about the people who come in to the library. The rest is just day-to-day paperwork which you get the impression he could do without. Ask him about the 'Summer Reading Program,' 'Cool Zones' and the people who pass through his door, and his voice changes, the energy changes and what was once a silent phone line, turns in to excited chatter full of pride, about all things possible and how his customers could make them probable. If you want to change the world one library at a time, talk to Michael and he will leave you in no doubt that he and his staff will have it done and provide ice cold lemonade to go with it.

He takes pride in his life and the lives of the customers he serves. In three years' time, the new Borrego Springs library should be built and up and running. Michael, has plans of his own that are just as big and beneficial to the community. As well as running the library on a normal day-to-day basis and opening up with the help of his assistant for additional hours and days for 'Cool Zone' moments, he is also studying online in order to get his Masters, so he is fully qualified to lead the new library into a future that's an even bigger part of the community. A task that involves studying, working and taking exams, not to mention all the extra-curricular training involved in running additional programs that the library hosts. He even took time to take his 'food handling certificate,' in order to run the Summer Food Program that is run in conjunction with Feeding America San Diego, USDA and the California Library Association. More of which you can read about shortly.

The point of this article? There is no point. It's just an opportunity for one member of Borrego Springs to acknowledge the dedication and commitment shown by another member of Borrego Springs. Sometimes life is that simple and a phone call that inconsequential when it starts, that by the time you put the phone down, you are left with a profound respect and understanding for the effort and unspoken goodwill of a friend and neighbor that on a daily basis, you may take for granted in the grander scheme of things.

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