Volunteer Spotlight

volunteer spotlight

Volunteers are the lifeblood of every successful community.  Without volunteers there would be very few food banks or youth sports programs, even less community theaters and sparsely run public libraries.  Even politicians would have a hard time campaigning for elections without volunteers.

At the library, volunteers are crucial, not only to the everyday running of the library but behind the scenes as well.  Library volunteers provide assistance with check-outs, issue library cards, help with device maintenance and guidance, handle returns and re-shelves, shift and organize sections, help with book and disc repairs, prep items for circulation, help work through reports, lead and assist with programming, fund raise, provide baked goods for events, and many, many more tasks too numerous to name.  Volunteers are the heart of the community and make visiting your public library a more personable, rewarding experience.  

This is especially true for Fort Bragg Library.  The Friends of the Fort Bragg Library are our lifeblood.  In order to celebrate those wonderful individuals who volunteer at Fort Bragg Library we’ve set up a this feature entitled Volunteer Spotlight.  Through Volunteer Spotlight, you will get to know our library volunteers; why they volunteer for the library, what they do as volunteers, and, we hope, you will have an insight into what makes your local library the ideal volunteer experience. (Hint: It’s the people!)

Salute to our volunteers because

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” Gladys B Stern

Volunteer Spotlight on…Lesley Reid

First up in our Volunteer Spotlight is Volunteer/Intern, Lesley Reid.  Lesley was an integral part of our volunteer base for several years and was elemental in helping train staff members who were coming on board after the passage of Measure A and in training new volunteers in various library procedures and fundamentals.  Recently, Lesley got the opportunity to expand her education in another location and, sadly, has left the Fort Bragg Library volunteer family (but she is continuing her volunteer work with the Ukiah Library). She will be direly missed at Fort Bragg Library but we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.  Thanks for all the experiences, Lesley!

Here, in her own words, Lesley tells us about her experience as a volunteer with Fort Bragg Library:

Volunteer Spotlight

Lesley Reid–Volunteer/Intern

FFBL:  How long have you been volunteering for Fort Bragg Library?  What year did you start?

LR: 3 ½ years…Started in August 2010

FFBL: How did you learn about Fort Bragg Library and what prompted you to get involved?

LR: I came to the Library as a patron when I was a young child and developed a love of books and reading.  This has followed me throughout my life and now, as an adult, I wanted to give back to the Library that gave me this passion for books and reading.

FFBL: In what ways are you involved as a volunteer with Fort Bragg Library?

LR: For the past 2 years I have been putting in about 12 hours a week at this library.  This 12 hours is spent doing a variety of tasks like shelving, checking books in and out, processing requested items, processing new items, working at the circulation desk and much more.

FFBL: What keep you coming back to volunteer each year?

LR: The people and the love I have for what I do here.

FFBL: What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?

LR: Learning new things almost every time I come in.

FFBL: What have you learned or how have you been personally affected from your experience with Fort Bragg Library?

LR: I have learned that working full-time in a library is the career I was meant to do.  This volunteer experience has changed my life in so many positive ways that I can’t list all of them here.

FFBL: Do you have an inspirational story you can briefly tell about your volunteer experience?  Please share with us!

LR: Before I came to the library I had no clue what I wanted in life.  After just 4 short months I knew this was my destiny in life, to work in a library.  I started an online degree program just a year after starting here that would give me an A.S. degree in Library/Information Technology.  Now, 2½ years later, I have completed my degree and it’s all thanks to the Fort Bragg Public Library.  They gave me a chance and changed my life.  I have to say goodbye to this library for my time has come to move on but my time here will always be forefront in my mind in a positive way.

FFBL:  Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Fort Bragg Library?

LR: Do it!!!  You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

FFBL: Hobbies/spare time activities?

LR: Reading

Volunteer Spotlight on…Joe and Kathy Averill

Here, in their own words, they tell us about their experience volunteering with Fort Bragg Library:

Volunteer Spotlight

FFBL:  How long have you been volunteering for Fort Bragg Library?  What year did you start?

J/K:  6 years…Started in 2008

FFBL: How did you learn about Fort Bragg Library and what prompted you to get involved?

J/K:  We came into the library to get library cards and the next thing we knew we were shelving books

FFBL: In what ways are you involved as a volunteer with Fort Bragg Library?

J/K:   We generally spend time on the request pull lists, book drop, shelving, shelf reading, and anything else the library needs

FFBL: What keep you coming back to volunteer each year?

J/K:   Good company and conversation and getting to see the new library materials

FFBL: What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?

J/K:   We live outside of Fort Bragg and enjoy coming to town and meeting some of the residents, especially staff and other volunteers

FFBL: What have you learned or how have you been personally affected from your experience with Fort Bragg Library?

J/K:  When we first came here in a period whn the library was incredibly understaffed, we were amazed at how vital volunteers were to the overall operation of the library.  We expected to be involved in no-brainer tasks like clean-up and moving boxes but found that a full array of help was needed and that some training would be necessary.

FFBL: Do you have an inspirational story you can briefly tell about your volunteer experience?  Please share with us!

J/K:   To us, the most inspiring event associated with the library was the astoundingly overwhelming vote in favor of the library tax (Measure A) which showed us how important the library is to residents of our county.

FFBL:  Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Fort Bragg Library?

J/K:  Come prepared to work – we have never come in and found that there was nothing to do

Thank you, Kathy and Joe, for all your hard work and dedication!  Fort Bragg Library salutes you!

Volunteer Spotlight on…Mary Sue Rhoads

Mary Sue, a retired elementary school teacher, has been volunteering for the Fort Bragg Library for over 6 years.  She’s well known around town for the various organizations she volunteers for and is often seen here at the library chatting up a former student who’s visiting the library.  Mary Sue is dependable, efficient and extremely helpful.  We all wish we could clone her.

Here, in her own words, she tells us about her experience as a volunteer with Fort Bragg Library:

Mary Sue Rhoads

FFBL:  How long have you been volunteering for Fort Bragg Library?  What year did you start?

MS:  6 years…Started in 2008

FFBL: How did you learn about Fort Bragg Library and what prompted you to get involved?

MS:  My children and I have used the library since it was on Main Street.  After retirement, I wanted to volunteer at a low energy position.  Pulling and shelving books is my speed.

FFBL: In what ways are you involved as a volunteer with Fort Bragg Library?

MS:   I work Tuesdays and Thursdays, (and an occasional Saturday) 9-11, pulling and shelving books, as well as a bit of shelf reading.

FFBL: What keeps you coming back to volunteer?

MS:  The staff.  And the need for the non-computer related tasks that need to be completed.

FFBL: What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?

MS:   Meeting people; being among the first to check out new material

FFBL: What have you learned or how have you been personally affected from your experience with Fort Bragg Library?

MS:  I have learned that working with patrons is not my choice.  I have recently learned to get the pull list books ready to go in the bins to go to other libraries.

FFBLL: What hobbies or spare time activities do you enjoy?

MS: Friends, family, non-profit organizations – Delta Kappa Gamma, Native Daughters, Soroptimist Noyo Sunrise, First Presbyterian Church.

Thank you, Mary Sue, for all your hard work and dedication!  Fort Bragg Library salutes you!

If, after reading our Volunteer Spotlights, you decide you would like to volunteer a few hours a week for the library, you can fill out our Volunteer Interest form here:

Volunteer Interest Form

Volunteer opportunities at the library we are looking forward to staffing are:

Adopt-A-Shelf Volunteers

Adult Literacy Tutors

Book Discussion Facilitators

Book Sale Volunteers

Children’s Arts & Crafts Instructors

Children’s Arts & Crafts Assistants

Children’s Program Assistants

Children’s Summer Reading Program Advocates

Children’s Summer Reading Program Assistants

Circulation Desk Volunteers

Community Programs Specialists

Computer Coaches

Delivery Processing Volunteers

Graphic Arts Specialists

Homebound Volunteer Outreach Advocates

Homebound/Community Outreach Services Assistants

Homework Assistants

Homework Helpers

Library Bloggers

Program Assistants

Web Content Assistants

Shelf Readers

Shelvers

Social Media Assistants

Software/Internet Tutors

Student Volunteers

Technical Services Assistants

Technology: Mobile Device Tutors

Read-Aloud Volunteers for Seniors

Volunteer Spotlight image borrowed from http://www.daytonaplayhouse.org/images/VolunteerSpotlight.png