In a previous blog about a year ago, I encouraged you to consider building a volunteer staff to support the library media center.
Recently, our Media Volunteers were featured in the Dispatch and Thomasville Times. In honor of National Volunteer Week and National Library Week, I honored our weekly media volunteers with a celebration. The local papers interviewed several ladies and included an article. What a great way to promote Friendship Elementary and even our Media Center!
For the original article, click the link above.
From the Lexington Dispatch, April 13th, 2018:
It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, Dianne Wright, media coordinator at Friendship Elementary School, said she has the support of a “village of volunteers” that has brought outstanding service to the students and faculty of the school.
In an effort to relay her gratitude for their loyalty and commitment, she organized a volunteer appreciation reception on April 9.
Wright said that she has a total of nine volunteers who come on a regular basis throughout the week. She said they assist her in daily tasks such as preparing books to be shelved, helping students checkout books, repairing damaged items, designing school bulletin boards, clerical duties, and many other things.
“They are essential because they help us provide outstanding patron service,” Wright said. “If they did not help us, we would not be able to get as much done for our students and our staff as we do. The list of all the things they do goes on and on.”
She said that she wanted to hold the volunteer appreciation reception to let the ladies know how much their work and support is valued.
“We can’t afford to pay them monetarily so we do other things, such as this reception, to let them know they are appreciated,” Wright said. “These volunteers do so much….I keep teasing them that I will give them a raise, but if you multiply zero by zero, it still comes out to zero.”
Wright said that over the years these volunteers have become more than just people who come in a couple of times a week to shelve books. “We are a very tight-knit group, we’re more like sisters,” Wright said. “I don’t feel like I am the boss. They are partners with me.”
Sandy Tew has been volunteering at the FES library since 2010. She said that it began when she attended an awards ceremony for her grandchildren. “I had a lull between the two different classes, so I came in here and met Dianne,” Tew said. “I asked if there was anything I could do and her eyes got real big. That is how it started.”
Tew said that she volunteers two days a week and all week during book fairs and special projects. She said that she has made lasting friendships with the other volunteers and really enjoys her time at the library. “I can stay home and do a lot of things, but I really enjoy it,” Tew said. “They are a great group of people.”
Mary Sessoms is another volunteer who said she feels it is important to support the local school system. She said since she is a stay-at-home mom, she felt she needed to do something while her kids were in school. “Parent involvement reflects on the school,” said Sessoms. “You can tell a difference, and you get to know what is going on in the school. Plus you get to know the teachers and the students.” She said she looks forward to her time volunteering at the school library. “I really enjoy it here, even if it is mundane things like putting stickers on books or shelving books,” Sessoms said. “You look forward to it each week. I was bummed during spring break that I couldn’t get my library fix!”
Penny Kennedy said she began volunteering at the school library shortly after getting laid off from her job. She said since her nephew attended the school at the time, she wanted to offer her time where it would be needed and valued. “I can’t just sit at home and do nothing, “ Kennedy said. “They were excited and welcomed me. It is just really nice to work here, it is so appreciated. I think I get as much as I give here. When you come in here it is a family, we all really work well together.”
FES principal, Steve Reynolds, said he is thankful that members of the community support the school. “We are very lucky to have all these people who come in and give of their time freely to support our school and the students,” Reynolds said. “They have been very loyal to us.”
Wright said she feels that holding a reception for the volunteers is only a small token compared to the benefit the school gets from their time and effort. “We are very appreciative of these volunteers, and I can’t thank them enough,” Wright said. “The little things we do for them is only a drop in the bucket to what they do for us. They make my day and they are great examples for the children, and they love them.”
Friendship Elementary School recently honored its Library Media Volunteers on April 9. Their many hours of service each week shows the spirit of America’s National Volunteer Week celebrated the third week in April each year. Mrs. Dianne Wright, Library Media Coordinator, expressed the value of the volunteer team to the services that the school library provides to students and staff. This dedicated team performs such duties as: checking out patrons, shelving books, cataloging new books, working in book fairs, repairing books, assisting students and staff with book choices, creating bulletin boards, laminating for teachers, and many other tasks.
Why do these ladies volunteer their time each week? Many of them said that volunteering brings them an excuse to escape mundane daily routines at home, connects with their children’s friends and teachers, and gives those who have retired a reason to get dressed in the morning! Sandy Tew and Suzanne Ogden have volunteered for so long that their children have moved onto middle and high school. Penny Kennedy’s great nephew has also moved on to the upper grades. Carolyn Vaughn, a former educator, enjoys seeing her grandson when she is in the media center each Friday. Jaime Russell waves at her girls as they pass in the hall going to lunch. Show-Jon Hsieh enjoys getting to know her sons’ teachers. Mary Sessoms’ family moved out of Friendship’s district, and she still comes to volunteer! So why do the members of the Media Volunteer Team keep coming? “Well, the team is like a family and they share stories, laughs, and burdens. They also become attached to the students and can call many of them by name,” explained Julie Faria, Media and Technology Assistant.
Mrs. Wright adds, “There is a moral to this story: Volunteering is a great way to escape the mundane routine of life and bring joy to others as well as being fulfilled yourself! Embrace the spirit of America’s National Volunteer Week! Go Volunteer!”
Welcome to the official blog just for DCS library media programs. Enjoy new posts from one of our many contributors and follow along to see the amazing things happening in Davidson County school libraries.