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Library News

By: Karen Greenwood, Volunteer Coordinator
For: Red Rock News
Date: April 17, 2009

National Volunteer Week

April 19-25 is National Volunteer Week. This year’s theme, Celebrating People in Action, captures the meaning behind this signature week – honoring the individuals who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities.

Instituted in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order to establish the week as an annual celebration of volunteering, National Volunteer Week encourages individuals and communities to discover the power of volunteering to make a difference and to create lasting social change.

Nowhere is that power more evident than in Sedona, which is blessed with a wealth of people willing to devote their time and energy to helping make the community a vibrant place to live. As an institution created and sustained by volunteers, the Sedona Public Library is well aware of their value. Our volunteers contribute nearly 50 percent of our work hours each year, fulfilling duties both behind the scenes and in the public eye. 

One of the first things Dorothy and Joe McKenna did when they moved to Sedona was sign up to be volunteers at the Library. According to Dorothy, it’s been a rewarding experience. The Library has become almost a second home for her.

“You’re dealing with a wonderful segment of the population,” Dorothy says. “It’s an opportunity to serve, but it’s also rewarding to volunteer because you get to know quite a few people in the community.

“Volunteering replaces the social aspect you get from working at a regular job. Through volunteering, you can regain what you’ve lost by no longer being in the workforce. You always have backup from staff, so you don’t have all the responsibility that comes with a job. On the selfish side, by volunteering at the Library, I can get first chance at all the wonderful books, tapes and movies we have here.”

We love our Library volunteers and will be celebrating them with a Garden Party Brunch on Saturday, May 9. Because of this event, the Main Library will not open until noon on May 9, and SPL In the Village will be closed.
Volunteers gain personal growth and fulfillment as they contribute their time and skills to meet the learning and information needs of the public the Library serves. Friendship, education, recognition and genuine satisfaction in a job well done are among the rewards of volunteering. Volunteers are the heart of the Sedona Public Library. More than 160 volunteers currently donate their time and talents to provide valuable assistance to the staff and patrons of the library.     

But like all organizations, we can always use more volunteers. We offer positions in Circulation (checking items in and out, shelving, shelf reading, opening new Library card accounts, answering the phone), Information (welcome patrons, answer directional questions and provide information about programs and events), Technical Services (book mending, book covering, tape/CD/DVD maintenance), Magazine Processing (preparing magazines for shelving and filing back issues), Newspapers (rotating newspapers from shelf to storage), Public Computer Usage (assist patrons with Internet access, printing, etc.) and Reference Desk (assisting patrons with reference questions, using Internet and Library resources).

Other areas include Interlibrary Loan (requesting items from libraries outside the Yavapai County Library Network), Business Office (filing, counting money collected for fines, printing and copying, etc.), Children’s Programs (Story Hours, After School Program, Summer Reading Program), Collections (design and set up displays), Donations (compare donated books to Library holdings to determine whether items go to book sales or into Library collections), and Internet Sales (research donations, post on Amazon, EBay or other sites, package and mail).

Most volunteers work one shift per week, but many work more. Some volunteers work for more than one department. Other volunteers prefer to be on-call only and substitute for volunteers who are away. Regular shifts are 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 5:30 or 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Evening shifts are Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. The Sunday shifts are 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
If you would like to work at the Library with others who share a passion for this institution, please call Volunteer Coordinator Karen Greenwood at 282-7714. After you fill out an application, we will call you for an interview and in-depth Library tour.

The interview will explore your skills and preferences and match your interests to a position. You will be assigned a mentor in the department of your choice and receive training for the position you have selected. Applicants must be at least age 18 for most of the Library’s volunteer positions. There are a limited number of positions available in the Children’s Room for teen volunteers.

Join the millions of people who find fulfillment in working with and helping others in their communities. Become a volunteer today.

Karen Greenwood
Karen Greenwood, author of this week's article,
is Volunteer Coordinator of the Sedona Public Library.

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News
and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.