In celebration of National Volunteer Week, April 21 through April 27, 2013, Williams County Public Library with locations in Bryan, Edgerton, Edon, Pioneer, Stryker, and West Unity would like to express their gratitude to their Friends of the Library Groups and all those individuals who so generously give their time and efforts as volunteers to their local libraries. The strength of a community can be measured by how much its citizens give back. They give back by showing support, volunteering, or giving monetary or material donations. In the case of those who volunteer at Williams County Public Library, it is a combination of all of the above. This year the library was helped by more than eighty-five volunteers ranging in age from school students to senior citizens and also including four Tail Waggin’ Tutor Dogs and their handlers at the West Unity Branch Library.
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National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing, and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals. Sponsored by Points of Light—National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each subsequent year, with literally thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. For more information regarding National Volunteer Week activities, please visit: www.PointsofLight.org.
At the main library in Bryan, volunteers undertake a wide variety of projects and provide numerous services which help in the day to day business of the library. Volunteers re-shelve books and other items, put DVD disks away into their storage sleeves, and find books from the shelves that are requested on reserve. In the Children’s department, volunteers also help out with the summer reading programs, cut out paper items to be used for crafts and story time, help decorate for the holidays, and do many other tasks. In the Local History and Genealogy Department, volunteers scan documents, work to identify names or locations in old files, search vertical files, and help with filing and cleaning. Others find themselves looking up obituaries from microfilmed newspapers to help someone across the country who is trying to piece together a family tree. They also might put together a display or create photo archives to document existing architecture and street scenes in all the towns across the county, to be preserved in the Local History archives.
At the branches, volunteers do much of the same types of chores as they do at the main library. Additionally, volunteers at the branches mow lawns; help out with maintenance projects and snow removal; provide programs; teach crafts; perform music for library events; provide refreshments for programs; listen to children read for “Read to Me” and “Tail Waggin’ Tutor Dogs” programs; create bulletin boards; do gardening work; help with gaming programs; help with after-school reading clubs; and perform a wide variety of other jobs.
All locations also have their own Friends of the Library groups which raise money for various needs for each library and do other valuable work to help out.
Volunteers have become important assets to the library. Anyone wishing to volunteer at the library is invited to join their local Friends Group or to stop by at a local branch and see what volunteer activities are available. Williams County Public Library would like to thank their Friends of the Library Groups and all others who have given of their time and talents to contribute to the work that is done at the library. Their generosity is greatly appreciated.