By Liz Premo
Atlantic News, Thursday, June 12, 2003
HAMPTON -- Staff members at the Lane Memorial Library in Hampton hosted the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon last Wednesday afternoon, celebrating the efforts of about 30 tireless helpers who have offered their assistance every week throughout the past year.
Between the vibrant artwork on the walls and the table covers and gift bags, the Wheaton Lane Room was awash with bright spring colors. As they arrived, the honored guests helped themselves from an abundant array of fresh fruits and veggies and poured themselves cups of coffee, lemonade and iced tea. Library trustees and other invited guests (including Town Manager James Barrington and Administrative Assistant Karen Anderson) joined the volunteers at the tables.
Library staff, which included Library Director Catherine Redden, Adult Services Librarian Jeanne Gamage, Reference Librarian Stan Olson and Children's Librarian Cynthia Stosse offered many appreciative comments on behalf of the volunteers.
Volunteers work without pay "not because they are worthless," said Redden, "but because they are priceless."
Gamage noted that the volunteers had logged in "over 3100 hours in 2002," averaging almost 60 volunteer hours per week..
"It is truly wonderful what you give to us and to the community," Gamage said.
Each volunteer was presented Lane Memorial Library keytags and ballpoint pens, along with roomy, navy blue nylon tote bags. Many of the volunteers were singled out by their presenters for performing specific tasks, such as shelving books, sorting through thousands of archived photos, repairing books and mending pages, book processing and data entry, indexing newspapers, and maintaining/ updating the library's Web site, among many other jobs.
"They always do [everything] so willingly," said Redden.
Also faithfully assisting at the library this year was a group of 10 teenage residents from Odyssey House. According to Redden, two or three would come to the library in shifts, typically to perform the chores of "picking up the bits and pieces" and "reading the shelves." Redden remarked that she would frequently overhear them chatting about the different titles as they worked, often exclaiming "I didn't know they had that!" and commenting they'd like to borrow the books they had discovered.
"They've done a good job," Redden said of the teens.
As the reception wound down, everyone present was invited to enjoy a piece of cake and take a number-guessing chance on winning a door prize -- the potted flower centerpieces on each table. Before departing, several of the guests of honor offered their comments on the joys of volunteering.
"I find I read more," said volunteer Nancy Coes, "when I see these interesting titles."
"I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't enjoy it," said Erna Seavey, "and I do enjoy it."
Volunteers will be on hand for the Lane Memorial Library's upcoming book sale, taking place on Thursday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (patrons can receive $1 off hardback books with their Lane Memorial Library card); Friday, June 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (along with the Friends of the Library Bake Sale); and Saturday, June 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (when everything goes for half-price.)
For more information about volunteer opportunities or the upcoming book sale, call the Lane Memorial Library at 926-3368.