Library DrawingThe CONNector

NOVEMBER 2002 Volume 4 Number 4

In Praise of Volunteers

Carol Taylor, Director, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Photo of volunteers.Although Volunteer Recognition Week is celebrated nationally each April, at Connecticut State Library's Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) we celebrate volunteers everyday. We have grown to depend on the many volunteers who provide hours of their time and talents to make our service more effective for our patrons. Volunteers play many roles.

In-house volunteers pull, shelve, inspect, and repair incoming cassette books, participate in outreach activities, and perform many clerical tasks alongside library staff. A twenty-one member, all volunteer, advisory committee made up of patrons and persons representing organizations and agencies serving visually and physically disabled individuals advocates for the library and is a wonderful support to the staff and other library volunteers.

Photo of volunteers in the garden.Connecticut Volunteer Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Inc. (CVSBH) is a non-profit corporation that works with LBPH to record books, pamphlets, and magazines onto cassette tape for patrons of the library program. CVSBH is an all-volunteer, statewide program with over 250 members using five studio locations for recording in East Hartford, Litchfield, Milford, Ridgefield, and Southbury.

Photo of volunteers.Throughout the year special projects utilize volunteers. A beautiful "Sensory Garden" spanning the entire front of the library building was created entirely by volunteers as an Eagle Scout project. The garden contains plantings with color, texture, and smell along with wind chimes and a water feature to bring sound and relaxation to the garden for people with different disabilities. Annually the United Way's Day of Caring assigns volunteers to the library to participate in special projects. Again the garden becomes a major focus for weeding, trimming, mulching, and additional plantings. In-house projects also benefit from these enthusiastic volunteers.

On a daily basis the faces of the volunteers change but the dedication and enthusiasm of each is consistent and contagious. You would never be able to distinguish the regular staff from the volunteers as they perform their jobs. Everyone is part of a team that works so well together. There are many reasons why people volunteer. For the selfless acts they perform to enhance the library's ability to bring a better quality of service into the lives of its patrons, we praise volunteers.

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