Davine Schwarz

Daily Point of Light # 1484 Oct 12, 1999

Davine Schwarz's long and ongoing relationship with the West Islip Public Library began in 1974. Her only child, Lee, had passed away after a long battle with leukemia and she came to the library to set up a fund in her memory.

At that time, Schwarz was asked if she would like to volunteer a few hours at the library. She agreed immediately and began her first library assignment with The Bookmobile. The bus would start at the library and travel a regular route within the community, serving those community members who were either without transportation or had a disability. Schwarz found books for these patrons and forged a relationship with each of them. The few hours she volunteered changed quickly to 25 hours per week.

In 1975, Schwarz realized there was a serious need within the area for literacy assistance. The library provided training for those interested in becoming literacy volunteers. She had her hands full at this point, between the Bookmobile and now working as a literacy volunteer. Education though, whether it be learning to read or the pursuit of a master's degree, is so important to Schwarz that much of her free time is spent in the pursuit of any new way to add to the educational facilities at the West Islip Public Library.

In 1987, the library was computerizing its circulation system, but had run into a stumbling block. If the library staff alone was to attempt to bar coding the library's 200,000 items, the project would have taken more than two years. When Schwarz heard about the project she volunteered her help. She soon saw, though, that more than her 25 volunteer hours per week were needed to finish the bar-coding job. Schwarz was working with an organization called "Friends of the Library" and enlisted the group’s help to complete the project, enabling the library to be online in less than one year.

For the past 10 years, she has volunteered her time in the Processing Department of the library, where she adds AV material to the computer system. She has also served for the past 10 years on the Board of Trustees of the library, where she has been voted in as President of the Board by her fellow Trustees for the past three years.