Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{March 31, 2011}   Blind Faith…

I was doing a volunteer orientation the other day. We are all giggling and laughing and getting to know each other and it was fun. Before the tour, I began to take the volunteers’ photos for their name badges. Volunteers love their name badges. It’s their official step into our world. Don that badge and you’re all business.

I lined them up mug shot style and snapped away with my cell phone. A couple were blurry and we had to redo a few. I’ve only had 2 in the past 4 years not want their photo taken. Neither fell into the usual categories of those that did not want their photos taken. Not Amish, Not Vampire, Not without a soul I even point-blank asked if they were in the Witness Protection Program and they said no to all of the above. They just wanted their name on their badge. Fair enough. No Problem.

When I got to Darla, I snapped and it was a smidge blurry but nothing that would be noticeable. I had her look at it to agree and she said she couldn’t see it and she was fine with whatever I thought. I thought it was fine so I moved on to the next gal.

When I had finished, I told them they could leave their belongings and I’d lock up the room and we’d all come back to do our training schedules. It was close quarters all getting out of the door and I was busy locking it when I turned and felt a “whop” on my lower calf. I turned back around and realized that it was from Darla. It was her cane. She was blind.

My first thought was to apologize to her in hopes I didn’t make her feel uncomfortable in asking if she approved of her badge photo-which I did immediately. No big deal she said. My second thought, which I kept to myself was…how can a blind person volunteer in the library?

At the end of the orientation, I went up to her and asked her what she felt she could do for us and what she wanted to get out of volunteering with us. She wanted to promote library service for the blind or visually impaired. Books on Tapes, Books on CD, Talking Books, directional information, books clubs. She just wants to help. She wants to be out in the community doing something. She wants to be valued.

Mark Twain said “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”.

I see her doing some good for us. I have faith in her.



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