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.
In order to honor those wonderful individuals who volunteer at Fort Bragg Library, we have set up a new feature here on the fortbragglibrary.org website 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!)
When railroader, Joe, and library associate, Kathy, retired from the LA scene and moved to the idyllic Northern California coast, they thought their days of hard work were over. Little did they know what was in store for them volunteering for the Fort Bragg Library! Gone are the easy days of slow paced shelf-reading and chats with patrons. When they arrive for their volunteer hours each week they hit the ground running and we keep them busy with pull lists, shelving, book drop check-ins, major section shifting and anything else we need to throw at them. Fort Bragg Library is blessed to have two such wonderful volunteers.
Here, in their own words, they tell us about their experience as volunteers with Fort Bragg Library:
Volunteer Spotlight on…Joe and Kathy Averill
Joe Averill (Kathy not pictured)
FFBL: How long have you been volunteering for FortBragg Library? What year did you start volunteering?
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 FortBragg 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!
Check out our other featured volunteers on our Volunteer Spotlight page here:
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 opportunities at the library we are looking forward to staffing are:
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
Delivery Processing Volunteers
Graphic Arts Specialists
Homebound Volunteer Outreach Advocates
Homebound/Community Outreach Services Assistants
Web Content Assistants
Social Media Assistants
Technical Services Assistants
Technology: Mobile Device Tutors
Read-Aloud Volunteers for Seniors
Volunteer Spotlight image borrowed from http://www.daytonaplayhouse.org/images/VolunteerSpotlight.png