Alamance County Public Libraries Honors Volunteers

Alamance County Public Libraries Honors Volunteers

On Monday morning, April 13 2015, Alamance County Public Libraries will host an informal gathering of a few very exceptional people in Alamance County. These individuals are known at ACPL for improving the quality of life in our community for our patrons, and they do it for free. They are among the 64 million people who volunteered in the United States last year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they may also be affectionately referred to as “points of light,” as they indeed brighten the lives of those they touch.

This year, April 12 – April 18 is known as National Volunteer Week, an occasion that was first celebrated in 1974. This is a time for America to recognize and honor all volunteers, and a time to inspire and encourage people to seek out ways to engage in their communities. With the points of light movement started in 1989 by then President George H.W. Bush and continued today by our current President Barack Obama, America has witnessed record surges in volunteering. Today with the challenges faced by many communities, the call to step up and make a difference has never been more important. This same week is National Library Week with the theme “unlimited possibilities at your library” which includes celebration of the contributions of the dedicated individuals, staff and volunteers, who make quality outreach possible in their communities.

Volunteering is ultimately about helping others and making a difference in the lives they touch. In an article recently published in the Daily Republic, Fairfield-Suisun, California, Yvette Klemm outlined the traits necessary to be a volunteer. As you read through this list you will appreciate those that volunteer and perhaps recognize yourself with these same characteristics.

Generosity, a willingness to give your time to others
Understanding, because their lives might be very different from your own
Empathy, an ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they must feel
Compassion, to truly care about making someone else’s life better
Patience, because the process doesn’t always go as smoothly as it might
Dedication, to stick with the project and see it through

The statistics quoted in this article are impressive, but it is also important to remember that even the smallest task can make a real difference. Individuals may only be able to fit a small amount of time in their busy schedule, but any and all efforts on the behalf of others deserved to be applauded. It is during this week that we applaud and offer our sincere thanks to all volunteer service in our libraries and communities and ask that all residents take a moment to also applaud our “points of light” here in Alamance County.

If you are interested or would like to know more about how you may get involved with ACPL, please contact any branch or Cathy Wright at outreach@alamancelibraries.org or by phone 336-229-3588, ext. 244.

Cathy Wright is the Outreach Services Coordinator and may be reached by phone at 336-229-3588, ext. 244, or by email outreach@alamancelibraries.org for more information.