Through wind, rain, sleet, snow, and muggy summer days, Kurt is the courier who delivers your requested books to your home branch library for pick-up. All up and down the valley, library staff are pulling items from shelves and rerouting them to other destinations. They are packed in boxes, awaiting Kurt’s dissemination of them to the people who are planning their vacations, remodeling their kitchens, installing a solar panel, sharing good times with their children, or just waiting to read the latest book by their favourite author.
Kurt departs from the Administration Office in Bridgetown and delivers and picks up 4 days a week at our 11 locations from Windsor to Annapolis Royal. One of those days is dedicated to what we call ‘collection exchange’. Those are items that are being traded among the locations, not to fill specific requests, but to refresh the collections, so that everyone sees a good variety of what the library has to offer. It’s a 7 hour mission each day, with approximately 70 boxes both going and coming. By our calculations, that’s an average of 1270 kilograms or 2800 pounds lifted at least once on each delivery day! Much more than that if you consider how many times each box is moved (loading the van, stacking them on the dolly for unloading, and depositing them inside each of the libraries)!
Consequently, Kurt is quite a trim fellow who doesn’t require a gym membership. (It helps that, being on the road, he misses the office potlucks and the many birthday cakes.)
Kurt’s 12 years of adventures with AVRL have included flat tires, assisting at accident scenes, a minor fender bender or two, unintended security alarm breeches, and a variety of other experiences, both good and bad. Aside from travelling with the usual books and DVDs, he’s also been accompanied by some odd storytime props and, recently, Harry Potter characters Dumbledore and Ron Weasley (stand-up cut-outs). Kurt has worked as a clerk and substitute behind the library circulation desk, so has had the privilege of seeing the other side of the workload and knows how appreciative the public can be at receiving their much-sought-after reading material.
When Kurt takes his vacation, do other staff scramble to fill his shoes? Well sometimes, yes, actually, but the novelty wears off pretty fast due to the aforementioned 1270 kg per day and a couple of days of teeming-down rain. On the plus side, by the end of his vacation, he may well be considered the most valued employee on staff.
So, if you see a white library van with the words Driven to Read on the side, please give a nod to Kurt, AVRL’s much-appreciated weight lifter and courier of precious cargo.
Head of Branch Services