Volunteers Are Essential to the Library

The Rochester Hills Public Library honored over 150 volunteers during National Library Week at a thank you luncheon held at the Great Oaks Country Club.  “About 100 of our volunteers were able to attend the lunch where their work was celebrated and our appreciation for their service was expressed”, said library director Christine Lind Hage.

Although the Library has approximately 130 employees, the volunteers play a key role in accomplishing the work of the library.  “The Outreach Services Department provides library service to older persons throughout the community with minibranch libraries located in the Older Persons Center and five retirement residences” said Manager of Outreach and Bookmobile Services Deb Motley. At their minibranch libraries older persons have access to library materials in a variety of formats including large print, best sellers, paperbacks, audio books and DVD’s as well as to all main library materials via weekly deliveries.  The minibranches are staffed with volunteers, with most of them living in the residences.

Other volunteers work in the main library.  “We use volunteers to pull books from our shelves that are being loaned to other libraries, to assist with the withdrawal of damaged or older materials from the Library’s collection, and to assist with our many programs,” said Hage.

The Library has volunteers ranging in age from 12 years old to 96 years old.  Three volunteers over the age of 94 attended the luncheon.  “Volunteerism is good for the community and for individuals” Hage continued.  “In 2012 our volunteers contributed almost 14,000 hours of service, which equates to 7 full-time employees and a savings of over $200,000.”

Included in the volunteer corps are the Friends of the Library Board.  This group of dedicated individuals raised $140,000 for the Library in 2012.  The majority of the funds were raised through the Friends’ perennially popular book sales.  Under the leadership of Ann Grunewald, the book sales raised over $100,000 in 2012.

Hage reports that “Volunteers tell us that their volunteer service is an important part of their life.  It gives some of them a reason to get up, get dressed and to go to work.”  Not only does it improve and expand library service it improves the quality of life for the individual volunteers.

For more information on volunteer opportunities at the Library call the Outreach and Bookmobile Services Department at 248/650-7122.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester off of University Drive and 3 blocks east of Main Street.  The library is open from 9 – 9 Monday through Thursday and 9 – 6 on Fridays and Saturday and from 1 – 6 on Sundays.

About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at info@rochestermedia.com.

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