By Sara Edmiston, Public Services Director
There are many benefits for those who decide to volunteer for an organization in their community.
Yes, it allows them to give back and forge a connection to the community in which they live, but the act of volunteering can also be beneficial on a more personal level. It connects people to others, provides a sense of belonging, keeps a person stimulated, and it helps to build skills that may increase job opportunities. Volunteers are crucial to the success of the Adams County Library System, and we’re lucky to have a strong force county-wide that helps us to meet the demands for quality public service.
So how do volunteers support the library system?
Some of our volunteers assist us in planning and implementing special events and programming. FunFest would not have been a successful family event to kick off Summer Quest, without the volunteers who assisted with setup, parking, clean up, tear down and all of the other necessary parts of running a mini festival. They work behind the scenes by serving on committees such as the Adams County Reads One Book committee or the Signature Event committee. They plan story times and read to children. They give their time and knowledge to present on a topic that they have expertise in, or they assist their branch of choice by helping to lead book clubs. Without these volunteers, the library system would not be able to fulfill our mission of opening gateways for exploration.
Many of our volunteers work behind the scenes alongside the staff and support the libraries in a million different ways. If you get a phone call for your hold notification, that might be a volunteer. The person you see pushing a cart of books or DVDs around your branch may be a volunteer pulling a rotation to send back to the main library – or they may be shelving recently returned library materials so that the next library user has the opportunity to borrow it.
Volunteers prepare new books, audio books, and DVDs for public use. They tape paperbacks and put the plastic covers on the hardcover books. A volunteer may be in a back office working on data entry or assisting with filing. There’s a never ending list of volunteer opportunities available to someone who’s interested in helping out.
The library system is very thankful for each volunteer. We know that without our volunteers we would not be able to serve the public as effectively as we are able to. Our volunteers don’t just help us with our needs, but they also show us where we should look to next. What services aren’t we providing that would benefit the community? Without their involvement and leadership, we wouldn’t be able to plan our next steps.
If you’re interested in volunteering at any of the libraries in the county, please visit our website, www.adamslibrary.org. You’ll find a link to more information about the volunteer opportunities that we have under the “Support the Library” tab on the main page. You’ll also find more information about the Friends of the Library and opportunities that are available with them.