Volunteer Spotlight – Inessa Ismagilova

Introducing Inessa Ismagilova

Inessa Ismagilova volunteers at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library both as a Tech Mentor and as a Russian instructor, with the Conversation Café language learning series.

Joining us in September of 2017, Inessa recently celebrated her one year anniversary as a volunteer for the San José Public Library. In the 112 hours of volunteer service she has accumulated, Inessa has helped a myriad of our customers with their technology woes and ushered many others into a world of Russian vocabulary, expressions and culture. We so appreciate Inessa's joyful nature and the commitment she has in providing our customers with care and kindness as she shares her knowledge of technology and language with the community.

Submitted by Librarian, Deborah Estreicher from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

A Chat with Inessa

As a child... I enjoyed playing vosmerki (a jumping game, played with an elastic band) with my friends. I also loved my Barbie Dolls, of which I had 35 in my collection. Though most of them have been placed in the hands of my nieces and neighbors, I have kept 5 of my very favorites. I also enjoyed my piano lessons, taken since age 5.

My first job... was in college, where I served as a translator for an international collegiate sky diving competition. It was thrilling to watch the jumpers and their mid-air choreography, from ground level.

My fondest memory from volunteering... as a Russian instructor in the Conversation Café series is watching the efforts of my students as they progressed from simple words to speaking in complete sentences.

I am most proud of... that I did a great job in my work, in Russia; that I was able to move to another country and travel a lot. I think that I am a good person, I try to help people and do my best.

My biggest challenge... is to find my first paying job in the United States.

My role model... is my Mom. She is a very energetic woman, who can do many things. She is a director of an organization, a very good mother and wife.

My community... is my neighbors. I have made many friends in my apartment complex. It is so nice to be a guest in the homes of my neighbors and to know that when I need help, to care for my dog or feed my fish, my neighbors are there to assist.

Libraries are... people and books, and many different services. No matter what age, nationality or social status, everyone is equal here, and I like that.

My favorite book is... The Red and the Black, by Stendhal.

I volunteer because... If I have something, why not share it. I want to contribute some of my skills and knowledge to the community. I am also happy and inspired when people learn something new. I also enjoy communicating with people and my colleagues in the library.

If I wasn't volunteering... I would like to work as a teacher or translator.