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Banking on a Little Kindness

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January 31, 2019 | By Washington County Community Foundation; Inspired by a Story from Lori Roberts

Address Book 2246432 1280 002

My girlfriend Karen and I were used to being ignored . . . or judged. As we slowly walked through the door of the Bentleyville Public Library, we weren’t sure that this time would be any different. However, we were willing to take a chance. We needed help. 

Truth be told, the times had changed more quickly than we would have liked. We weren’t ready to make the switch to online banking; however, our paychecks were being directly deposited, and we had been automatically enrolled in paperless statements. Since my girlfriend and I didn’t own a computer, or feel comfortable using the internet, we thought that maybe someone at the library could help to us navigate these uncharted waters.

But past experiences made us a little uneasy. So, at first, we were reluctant to let the staff know that we are deaf.

However, within minutes, the kind-hearted librarian put us at ease. Apparently, it’s not unusual for patrons to ask a lot of questions about using computers. Quickly, we developed a communication system with the librarian that involved hand-writing questions and responses. Simple, yes, but it worked! Karen and I were so relieved to connect with someone who was both knowledgeable and compassionate.

Thanks to the instruction of our local librarian, we learned a lot about technology. And now my girlfriend and I feel so comfortable using computers, we were able to file our taxes online!

In my experience, libraries are great places to make discoveries. And at the Bentleyville Public Library, Karen and I found a little more confidence in ourselves.


*Names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the library patrons.