The Berlin Wall
After spending a good portion of his career in customer service, Blaine Ross has found a happy niche as a reference assistant at the Beaverton City Library.
“I’ve run a fish market, a deli and driven a bakery truck … I kind of surprised myself by turning up in a library,” he says.
A friend is to blame. She recommended he take a test to become a library assistant. He did, and then worked for Multnomah County Libraries for seven years. He’s now completed a decade at the Beaverton library.
The job clearly suits him. “I love helping people find resources,” he says. “And I’m learning all the time, because everybody’s interested in something different.”
When Blaine isn’t in the library, he’s drawn to the outdoors. “I don’t want to look at a screen all the time,” he explains. “I’d rather be interacting with something in three dimensions.”
Ross is a multi-dimensional guy himself. Fluent in Spanish and well-travelled, he happened to arrive in Berlin when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. “It was an unbelievable moment in history,” he says. “Aside from when my kids were born, I don’t remember another time when I cried tears of joy.”
“There was this continual sound of clinking as people chipped away at the wall. The East Germans who came across the border were treated like celebrities.”
Blaine will welcome the time when he can see patrons and colleagues again. “We have a great team at Beaverton. I’m really proud to be part of the library culture there.”
“I see myself as an ambassador. I want to make sure every person who comes in has a great experience.”