The Transylvania Times -

SCORE Presents Extra Mile Award To Library Director, Staff


Last updated 8/11/2021 at 11:16am

Library Director Rishara Finsel and her staff received their Extra Mile Award.

For over 100 years, the Transylvania County Library has provided access to books, entertainment, research and technology assistance, public programs and more throughout Transylvania County. When the COVID-19 crisis arrived in March 2020, library staff, led by Library Director Rishara Finsel, quickly modified their operations to continue serving local residents.

Though the library was temporarily closed to the public, staff implemented a curbside delivery model so patrons could safely pick up books, movies and other library materials during statewide Stay-at-Home Orders. During the three-month building closure, staff organized a quarantine system for returned materials and served as a community resource hub to help connect residents with pandemic-related needs to local nonprofit agencies and government services. Staff assisted over 3,500 curbside patrons, fulfilled more than 12,600 patron hold requests, answered nearly 1,000 phone calls per week and collected over 6,000 PPE items for local first responders.

In January 2021, Transylvania County experienced a critical information need as Transylvania Public Health began administering the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. At the county's request and under Finsel's leadership, library staff adjusted their services again to implement a vaccine call center. The call center was made available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week as a way to respond to the public's questions about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines locally. During the four months library staff worked the call center, over 14,000 calls were received. Finsel has led the Transylvania County Library throughout the pandemic, responding with creativity and care, all the while keeping staff safe and the community informed.

This Extra Mile Award is one of the ways that the Transylvania County SCORE acknowledges the people and businesses in our community who go above and beyond. The award is voted on by all the mentors in Transylvania County.

Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs to start or grow a business. SCORE's 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring, workshops, and educational services to 1,500+ communities nationwide, creating 29,681 new businesses and 67,706 non-owner jobs in 2019 alone. Visit SCORE at

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Western NC SCORE mentors in Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties. To learn more about the chapter and mentors, visit or call (828) 693-8702.


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