Living the Mission: Don Sanford

An avid reader since childhood, Don began trading books with fellow bibliophile (and former Pierce Puyallup staffer) Bonnie Tiffault. Linda Gulbransen soon joined in, and, before long, a network of readers were donating and borrowing a growing collection of books. When Don was moved to Fort Steilacoom two years ago, he extended the Employee Book Exchange and began building a library there. Fort Steilacoom President Denise Yochum provided the bookshelves, and the exchange took off.

Now, there are about 100 books in the Puyallup collection and about 60 at Fort Steilacoom. There are no rules for participating; everything is done on the honor system. Donate a book. Borrow a book. There are no sign-out sheets or due dates.

The variety of books is extensive at both campuses, but Don gets one request more than any other.

“Everybody asks about romance,” he said. “We definitely have romance.”

“We have some of everything. Blood and guts. Murder mysteries. Romance,” added Linda Gulbransen, who oversees the Puyallup exchange. “There is educational reading, too, but that’s not very popular.”

Don’s favorites are the mysteries, but since he reads so many books, he dabbles in a bit of everything. He’s read 82 books this year. He knows exactly how many because he keeps a journal of everything he reads with a rating of how much he liked it.

“It’s something my mom had me do when I was a kid,” he explained. “I have journals going back to 1985. I push to read 100 books a year, but I’ve only done that once.”

In fact, at any one time, Don says he’s read at least four or five of the top 10 bestsellers. Sharing his love of books with others is a way for him to give back to the college community. Don lives the Pierce College mission by contributing to a positive and diverse environment, where employees feel valued and respected.

At Fort Steilacoom, the Employee Book Exchange is divided between the two employee lounges in CAS 225 and CAS 362.

At Puyallup, the exchange is located in the employee lounge at ADM 150.

Donations are always welcome.

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