Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{December 4, 2009}   Sunny Skies Ahead…

I met the cutest retired couple this week wanting to volunteer. I wanted to adopt them they were so adorable. I got a phone call last week about the status of the wife’s volunteer application. We set the interview and chitty chatted about opportunities and interests. When I went to meet her this week, her husband was with her and he also was interested in volunteering.

They wanted to come together, but had different interests. They do Meals on Wheels delivery on Tuesdays but wanted to come the other 3 Tuesdays of the month. We went through the front and back of the application-line by line. I was glad I had blocked out a 2 hour span for the interview, tour and orientation.

Just through talking and chatting, I found out that she was a retired preschool teacher and he was a retired meterologist-and surprisingly, when I didn’t think they could, they became even more adorable. He would start going on about weather, she about her interests, they would wait patiently for each other to finish their stories, and then delve into another.

I’d steer back to the handbook and policies and procedures, a cell phone rang and it was their daughter. I sat back and said they could take the call. It was about their granddaughter’s Christmas present. While she was on the phone, he regaled me in stories about weather. Did you know they hung a weatherman in South America for getting a forecast wrong? He obviously loved weather and she obviously loved children.

As I sat patiently listening to a weather story in one ear  and overhearing how hard it was to find a specific Dora toy in the other, the wheels of my brain began to turn. How awesome would it be to have her read a story regarding weather..maybe “Pecos Bill” and then have him talk about weather to the kids and parents during a story time? There are flurries of stories out there to read about weather, and after 40 years in the weather business, flurries of stories for him to share.

I think “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” will be our first event. I’m forecasting a very successful program!


{November 30, 2009}   Why do I do what I do?

{November 27, 2009}   A New Generation of Librarians…

I got an email the other day from a high school senior who needed to do a job shadow for his career path. Seems he took a career test and although he wants to study one thing, the test told him that he will make an excellent librarian. Since career shadowing can fall onto the desk of the Volunteer Manager, I contacted the student to find out what the details were and then sent out an email to department heads to get their vibes (good and bad)…soon, the responses started to roll in.

Bring him on! Seems in the days of Cha Cha, KGB and Google, everyone thinks they can be a librarian. A little Wiki here…A little Cha Cha there…and everyone seems to have all the answers. What a great opportunity to grab a hold of one kid and show him what the job really is like. He’s going to go everywhere, History and Genealogy, Reference, Teen Zone, Circulation, he’s going to shift, he’s going to shelve, he’s going to help assist our Public Computer Instructors, he’s going to help deliver books through our Mobile Outreach, he’ll do some inventory and even process or tape and repair some of our books in Tech Services.

Job Shadowing and Career Exploration in the library are great volunteer opportunities for our young people to experience. The more comfortable they are in the library, the more they will want to be a part of it, even maybe as a career, if not…they will at least have a whole new respect for us!

Librarians  and those that work in the  library go beyond Shhh~shing. At our fingertips and within our sight are all the books and resources to entertain, to teach, and to inspire. How can you NOT feel that power when you walk into a library. Let Cha Cha have it’s one dance, to us, we have that one and all the others!

et cetera
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