Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

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 ūüôā





{December 10, 2010}   George Bailey? or Mr. Potter?

It’s that time of year where “It’s a Wonderful Life” plays over and over on our tv’s and in our minds and hearts. Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you weren’t here? How one life effects so greatly another person’s¬† life?

In a nutshell, that’s what I think the movies about. He wants so many different things and has big dreams, but in actuality, he’s living the dream. Loving family, friends, sharing, caring, compassion, work, helping others, health, ups and downs.

What about Mr. Potters dreams? Does he even have any besides more, more, more? Alone, ill, bitter, angry.

When you do good for others, you do good for yourself. There are times where I feel that I give more than I get back. I’m done. I can’t do it anymore, I’m tapped out. When is it my turn? Then I sit and reflect on how I may have made a difference that might have caused a little ripple to provide hope, help, health, happiness and I take a deep breath and am patient a little longer. I do have more George Bailey’s in my life than I think. My life would be different if it weren’t for my George’s and in some cases not for the better.

So think about it…Are you a George Bailey or a Mr. Potter? By George I’m a George…and I’m glad I am.


One of my favorite co workers is Charlie and he works in the Circulation Department. I don’t see¬† him that often, but we have a very unique relationship via his mail box. When we do see each other, we talk books. Being in and out of the Friends bookshop, Charlie would mention in passing to keep an eye out for a certain book here and there. Being the person that I am, with a memory like an elephant (curse and blessing) I’d find it for him and secretly place it in his mailbox with notes on them.

All he had to do one week was mention the classics and I was on a mission. Into his box came Dracula, Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, among so many others. We’d easily talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, try to figure out what Holden in Catcher in the Rye was actually all about and when he mentioned he had just finished Great Gatsby and I mentioned how sad it was….he thought for a moment and casually said…”yeah…I guess you’re right, it was sad”. I showed him Atlas Shrugged and we just looked at each other and shook our heads “no”. Good book, tiny print!

In the summer I can always count on Charlie and his linen suits. I call him Sonny Crockett or Miami Vice, but with the 3 day scruff, and his perfect smile and handsome features, he can easily pull it off and chuckle it away. I’m not sure if Charlie volunteers, but what I am sure of is he’s a very very nice person. That’s an important thing still~ being nice. I think many of us are so busy or stressed or cynical of the world and each other that we forget to be nice.

Not only is Charlie nice, but he’s also very artistic and talented. So, to let Charlie know how much I appreciate him being nice and his art, I’ve added his link to my list along with one of my fave’s to this post.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

{November 29, 2010}   Meals on Wheels

I’m sure it wasn’t just me that¬† dreaded the Monday after a long holiday. I thought of how I had planned my week and I was smart in keeping the appointments at bay. Lots of things need to be wrapped up at the end of the month, reports, stats, and all the housekeeping that goes with, so I began scheduling the first full week in December. That said, it still didn’t make me want to wake up with the roosters the Monday after Thanksgiving. Until I got a text from my friend, Sarah. “Want to deliver meals with me? Meet me at 10:40 at the hospital parking lot behind the ER”.¬† Sarah’s company is on a corporate route for Meals on Wheels and she delivers the 3rd and 5th Monday of the month. I shifted my day to a close and took advantage of a few extra zzzz’s.

We had 12 people on our route today. All extremely thankful and happy to see us. It’s a pretty large route,¬† spread out and about, and aside from an almost missed brown bag and a knocked over trash can it went along smoothly.¬† All in all it took about 2 hours from start to finish. I always mention that even a volunteer manager volunteers, and this type of volunteering is extremely rewarding and fun.

I met two of Sarah’s favorite people on her route. I’ve heard her stories of filling bird feeders in a business suit and pumps with one or coming in and seeing her elderly gentleman with his napkin, fork and knife laid out ready for her, but to actually meet them made it all the more special.

I was fresh off that feeling of making a difference and for some reason, it was easy to check voice mail today and return calls about volunteering!

{December 1, 2009}   The Genealogist Volunteer

Our State History Room has the one of the top Genealogists in the state. She’s awesome and the staff that works there is knowledgable and very helpful. I’m not much into Genealogy, but I know that if I needed to find something, this is the place to go. Every so often, I have the pleasure of meeting some young men from Utah, Idaho or Montana. They¬†are out on their Mission with the Latter Day Saints and want to do service in their community. After talking with them, it’s almost a no brainer that Genealogy is their thing.

As part of disaster planning and also to make research easier, we developed an access data base for obituary, birth, and marriage records. Volunteers would input index card information from newspapers into a data base and it would be searchable by several fields. It¬†is a fun project¬†and a constant project. Cards that don’t hold all the information would be researched by volunteers using the microfilm and the mysteries would be filled in.

A few years ago, I was introducing a volunteer to our staff in the History Room. She had done research before and knew her way around the department. A few days later, I had made her badge and I was standing by to check in with her to make sure she was comfortable and all was good to go. I patiently waited while our staff member helped two ladies who had found each other on the internet. One was from Florida and the other from Ohio. They each held important branches to their family trees and had found themselves at our library to help fill in the gaps. They had drawn a blank on the location of a cemetary. Our volunteer eagerly joined the conversation.

“I know where that cemetary is~” she said confidently, “I have family buried there too.”

The gal from Florida said “We’re looking for the Smyth family burial plot”.

I felt like I was watching a tennis match. Looking at the volunteer for response, her eyes were wide open and mouth agape…

“That’s my family…”

Papers began to fly, heads were bent over tables, fingers traced branches and names…and low and behold…they indeed were all from the same lineage! Our volunteer held yet another branch to their family tree…

Needless to say, she asked for some much-needed volunteer time off. The next day, they were all gathered at tables with ALL their research from three states all about, piled, earmarked, maps ~and there they were talking and laughing as if old friends that had never parted.

The past came together that day and created a great future for friends and family and all because some one had an interest in Genealogy and wanted to volunteer.

et cetera
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