Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{February 7, 2011}   The Cost of Libraries…

This came across my email from my list serve on libraries today from a librarian on the speaking circuit;

“Last year I gave a series of talks. They all started with questions. How many people had internet access at home? Nearly everyone did. Then I asked how much people spent per month, per household, for the service. The answers started at a low of $30 a month, up to about $80. Then I asked the kicker: So what do you think the average American household spends per month for public libraries?
The answer, based on national data, is this: Households pay an average
of $2.68 per month for their public libraries.”…

I had to read that at least twice. That’s .08 cents a day. As an employee of a public library, this can be read in two different ways with two different tones. The Diva is working her butt off to provide excellent service for .08 cents a day or The Diva is working her butt off to provide excellent service for .08 cents a day (I give you creative license to imagine the tone..)

A big part of my job is to seek out volunteers to help us save on resources and bring in help when we are already stretched over a barrel. Back in the day, for a price of a cup of coffee we used to be able to adopt a child in a 3rd world country. Wasn’t it like .50 cents a day back then? Now a cup of coffee costs in the $2-4 dollar range depending on where you get it from and in most places it’s free refills…

But what can you get for .08 cents a day anymore? The public library…it looks like. Call me crazy, but I’m still in shock on how cheap we are…


So, I was sitting at my favorite cafe, Rosie’s, the other day with my new friend Roz (actually Ros …but I like her better with a “z” at the end…more sassy and brassy). She was having coffee and scones and I, of course, ordered the Lumberjack breakfast which included the Western Omelette with potatoes.

I’m somewhat of a regular at little ole Rosie’s as of late so our waiter came over to chat us up and asked us what our plans were for the rest of the day. Well, after we loaded ourselves up on Rosie’s delicious decaf, we were going to pick up some meals to deliver for Meals on Wheels. Roz and I both sit on the Meals on Wheels Board of Directors so for fun, I wanted to jump in on her regular route and deliver with her. It’s more fun when you go together and you get to chat and giggle and do good all at the same time.

Route 5 is country. Farms and farm houses, here and there, little apartments in town, and a house here and there. I was looking forward to it. Thomas brought me some butter for my biscuit and each time he came back, he wanted to know more and more about Meals on Wheels and what we were doing and how we were doing it? How long did it take?  Where do you go? How did we get involved?

As I mopped up my last crumb and Roz put away her peach scone and we drank the last of our decaf, we had Thomas in the bag and on board. He was going to give Meals on Wheels a call and go on his day off to deliver on Wednesdays.

What a natural progression…A waiter serving food to customers and being friendly and a nice young man serving food to those in their homes and being friendly. I think Thomas will be a perfect Meals on Wheels volunteer.

Please check the link to the right, it may be something you might want to do as well! I know Roz and I had a great time and so will you 🙂




et cetera
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