By Liz Premo
Atlantic News, Thursday, June 13, 2002
[The following article is courtesy of the Atlantic News]
[Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]
HAMPTON -- Lane Memorial Library staff members lauded faithful library volunteers during the annual appreciation reception held last Wednesday afternoon. About half of the current list of 23 volunteers gathered in the library’s Wheaton Lane Room to enjoy refreshments, accept gift bags and receive plenty of praise for the work they do.
Adult Services Librarian Jeanne Gamage told those in attendance that for the month of May alone, the library’s volunteers graciously gave a total of 226 hours of their time. She went further to explain that the National Volunteer Center estimates their work to be worth $16 per hour, which for May added up to more than $3000 of volunteer service. “We want to thank you for the $3616 donation you gave us,” she told them.
Library Director Catherine Redden paraphrased, “with eloquence,” a Canadian poem about volunteerism she had discovered on the Internet. Saying that the phrase “I Volunteer” represents two powerful words, Redden noted during her presentation that “there are as many reasons to volunteer as volunteers.”
Just the sheer volume of books and patrons that circulate in and out through the doors of the Lane Library indicate why its volunteers are so vital to its operation. According to Gamage, 5000 people a month visit just the upstairs portion of the library alone, averaging about 20 visitors per hour of operation. About 15,000-16,000 books are in circulation during any given month, and every book needs to be accounted for, whether it’s on the shelf of the library or in the hands of a library patron.
Volunteers at the library take on a number of tasks, among them shelving books, working in the Children’s Room, and organizing newspaper archives for the reference department. Lane Library History Volunteer John Holman, whose regular responsibilities include helping to maintain the library’s Web site, logs in approximately 30 hours per week.
“John is here almost every single day,” said Gamage. “He’s our primo volunteer.” She then joked, “We think he actually sleeps here at night.” (Holman later presented Redden with an historic Lane Library bookmark dating back about 60 years ago, when the library was open far fewer hours than at the present time.)
In addition to Holman, the roster of regular library volunteers teers includes Helene Antonakis, Claire Bourque, Doreen Carr, Nancy Coes, Claudia Cyrus, Anne Gardner, Mike Hawley, Rick McConologue, Helen Moynihan, Mary Jo Murphy, Joan Kahl, Mona Otis, Virginia Proulx, Erna Seavey, Barbara Soper, Barbara Trainor, Jane McDermott Sally Mitchel, Elders Baldwin and Stephenson, Mary Clare Roberts and Kathleen Feltz.
Also. present to celebrate these volunteers were Assistant Librarian Stan Olson; Children’s Librarian Cindy Stosse; staff members Jean Keefe and Barbara Chapman; and Library Trustees Sarah Casassa and Judy Geller.
For the Lane Library’s volun teers, their reasons for helping out are varied, whether it’s to serve the community, fulfill a personal directive, or to simply keep busy The enjoyment factor, however is a big draw as well. “It’s a lot of fun,” says McDermott, mott, who has given four years of volunteer service “I just look forward to coming.”
For more information about volunteering at the Lane Memorial Library, call 926-3368.
Left to right: Erna Seavey, Virginia Proulx, Claudia Cyrus, Kathie Feltz, Helene Antonakis, Elder Baldwin, Claire Bourque, Elder Stevenson, Helen Moynihan, John Holman, Anne Gardner, Jane McDermott.
[Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]