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End of the Year Library Volunteer Message and Such

Sent: Tue May 15, 2007 • 10:32 AM PDT
From: Lundholm, Benjamin
End of the Year Library Volunteer Message and Such

Hello Library E-list Subscriber!



As I sat down to write this, I was remembering the words of Count Greffi in A Farewell to Arms: “If you ever live to be as old as I am you will find many things strange.”  At 94, Count Greffi was a little older than I am, so I’m curious about how many more things might get stranger.  As it stands, I find it mighty odd that we’re already a month away from the end of the year.  It would be great to find something pithy to say about the peculiar way that time moves, but all I can think of is this: Time flies when you’re having fun.


Luckily, the idea of “fun” is related to the purpose of this email.  I’d like to thank you for your interest in the MVHS library and invite you to help out next year.  I plan to hold a library volunteer “orientation” on the Thursday afternoon before classes start in the fall (August 16th) to talk about volunteering options and particulars for the 2007—2008 school year.


In short, volunteers are a tremendous help with our collection and services.  Volunteer schedules and options are flexible, but some of the most helpful work is also the most consistent and the least glamorous. Our most committed library-parent volunteer over the past several years, Karin Schneider, helped us put together the following list of potential volunteer assignments.  


This is a brief overview of the tasks we most commonly need adult help with. 


*Covering books – new ones as they arrive and older ones as needed.  This prolongs the life and improves the appearance of our books.  We receive books throughout the year, so there is never a shortage of covering to do.


*Shelf reading – reading the call numbers on the book spines to ensure that the books are in precisely the right order. 


*Shelving.  Although we have TA’s assist with shelving, we’ve noticed a dramatic difference when adults help.


*Weeding – using standard criteria to remove old, inaccurate, damaged, ugly, and/or outdated books.  Weeding improves access, relieves overcrowding, assures a quality collection, and makes the library more appealing and useful.  This is an enormous, never-ending project.


These are other volunteer jobs:


*Book repair.


*Researching for new books.


*Cleaning – mostly dusting and cleaning book tops.


*Organizing book displays – selecting books for displays that change weekly or monthly (e.g. for poetry month, “read-alikes,” banned books week, teen read week, new books, etc.)


*Organizing other displays – teen read week displays, student work, book recommendations, etc.


*Surveying students and collating data.  We survey the students every year to maintain and improve library services. 


*Redesign/Reorganization/Future Planning.    Our surveys over the past couple of years suggest that we could use more and/or different furniture.  We’ve also considered a sound system. We have a budget for this, but we could use help with ordering and selection.   



I’ll discuss these jobs in more detail in the fall.  If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to send me an email at benjamin.lundholm (at) MVLA.


Thanks for your time and have a lovely summer.




Benjamin Lundholm


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