Sno-Isle Libraries volunteer Pat Westfall gives books a clean sweep

Pat Westfall exemplifies the kind of determination and spirit that drives many people to volunteer for Sno-Isle Libraries.

Volunteer Pat Westfall shares her story during an interview for Sno-Isle Libraries Check It Out podcast.

Westfall, 74, nearly died from a brain aneurysm 21 years ago when she lived near Las Vegas, Nev.

After six weeks in intensive care and several months of rehabilitation, she learned how to speak again and properly pronounce words, but she never regained feeling on her left side and she couldn’t drive anymore.

During her recovery, Westfall got help from a longtime friend in Idaho and a sister in California who suggested she move to Washington to be close to her only son, Jason.

“So I flew up here and they lived in Maltby at the time,” Westfall said. “Jason came home from work that night and I was in the kitchen. He said, ‘What are you doing here?’ I said I moved back so I could be close to you guys.”

She lived with Jason and his wife, Rachel, for a while, then they helped Westfall find an apartment in Everett. When Jason and Rachel moved to Marysville, she moved too.

Whenever Westfall needed a ride, Jason and Rachel were always there.

“Then I decided maybe I’ll ride the DART (Dial-a-Ride Transportation) bus, so I signed up and now I take that everywhere I need to go,” Westfall said.

One day, Westfall was riding DART when another rider said Sno-Isle Libraries needed volunteers.

“The lady was telling me they needed volunteers at the library, so I went down to the Marysville Library and filled out an application,” Westfall said. “They put me to work right away cleaning books. I was just amazed how dirty they become.”

That was 15 years ago. She’s still cleaning Sno-Isle Libraries books, only now she works at the Service Center in Marysville.

Westfall said some of her best therapy has come as a volunteer for Sno-Isle Libraries.

“Oh, I think it’s excellent. It gives you a lot of insight and education,” she said. “When I tell people I clean books, they’re amazed.”