March 11, 2017

Library Volunteers Make a World of Difference

Library volunteers, this one’s for you.  Last year 65 wonderful library volunteers donated over 2,000 hours and $58,000 to enhance Neill Public Library’s services.  It takes many volunteers to help a library thrive.  Volunteers include Friends of Neill Public Library, Library Board of Trustees, and Library Special Project Volunteers. 

At the center of library volunteerism is a celebration of lifelong learning.  Volunteer activities reflect this.  Volunteers assemble literacy packets for each child born at Pullman Regional Hospital.  These packets include a free book and first library card.  Children entering kindergarten with the Pullman School District receive a free book and a warm smile from volunteers to mark this momentous day.  Volunteers deliver books to homebound seniors at four local resident centers.  One senior recently expressed her gratitude for this service, remarking that “arm chair travelling through books” took her places her legs no longer could, while still keeping her mind active.  Volunteers represent the library at community events like Family Fair and Lentil Festival.  They are our library ambassadors, taking the library to the people while championing a love of learning for all.

Volunteers run our English as a Second Language conversation classes, building bridges and fostering friendships across cultures and they work at the library’s Summer Reading Help Desk to help patrons register for this flagship reading program.  Volunteers keep our magazines and newspapers organized, repair books, help keep the library tidy, and serve on the library’s advisory and governing boards providing critical feedback and administrative direction to staff. One volunteer is helping the library document its history from humble beginnings in the Greystone Presbyterian Church in 1922 to its present location today.

Last year, Neill Public Library received $58,000 from the volunteer run organization, Friends of Neill Public Library.  Funding came from membership renewals, endowments, and gifts received in memory and celebration of loved ones.  With this funding, the library was able to purchase hundreds of new titles for patrons of all ages to read, view, and use to make sense of the world around them.  This funding also made possible computer classes for seniors and numerous literacy-based community enrichment programs.  Lifelong learning at its best.

Volunteers are the heart of our library and make Neill Public Library a treasured community resource.  On behalf of staff, I salute our volunteers and thank you for your generosity and all that you do.  And we have a special surprise.  Staff is busy planning a fun-filled event on April 22 to honor your many contributions so watch your mail for an invitation. It is a small but fitting gesture to let you know that you make a world of difference to Neill Public Library and our library community.  Thank you.
Joanna Bailey, Director, Neill Public Library

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