Just look at the numbers. We have only 260 employees spread across our 28 libraries. Our 2,200 volunteers outnumber staff by more than 8-to-1 and put in an amazing 107,652 hours in 2013.
Our volunteers do a little bit of everything. They coach children on schoolwork and adults on finding jobs—or even learning how to read. They offer genealogy assistance, support the Design Spot
and the Sacramento Room
, clean books so we can put them back in our collection, or help people with computers or self-checkout. Our volunteers include 575 teens, many serving as homework tutors or technology assistants.
The Sacramento Public Library is also blessed to have one—or really, 30—of the best Friends of the Library
groups in the country. These super-volunteers plan events, serve as docents, run the Book Den store and hold several Friends of the Library Book Sales every year.
So please join us in saluting these amazing, wonderful people—and read just a few of their stories below.
Want to be part of this great event next year? Become a library volunteer
Right before our annual Volunteer Appreciation event, the Sacramento Public Library Foundation presented a $312,000 check to the Library to support Summer Reading and many other programs.
The theme of this year’s volunteer event was The Wizard of Oz
. Here, Library Director Rivkah K. Sass (Wicked Witch) demonstrates how she gets so much productivity out of her library workforce. With her are Christie Hamm (Cowardly Lion/Youth and Community Services Manager), Gerry Calderon (Tin Man/Technology Manager) and Denise Davis (Scarecrow/Deputy Director).
Larry Yackel is one of our superstar volunteers, logging an amazing 816 hours in 2013. When asked what he does at the library, the 6’5” Yackel replied “Get stuff off of the top of shelves—pretty much anything they need done that takes a tall person.”
Myra Johnson is an adult literacy tutor at Central. She worked for most of last year with a parolee whose long-distance girlfriend recently moved to Sacramento to be with him. “He wanted to be able to write her love letters,” Johnson said. “He was highly motivated.”
Maria Protopopova, 20, with library staffer Barb Alberts. Protopopova moved from Russia almost five years ago speaking no English, but said that doing office work and occasional translation for Russian-speaking patrons at the Arcade Library has really helped her learn the language. She received a Young Adult Gold Level volunteer award after logging 253 hours last year.
Rio Linda High School senior Lupe Cabrera, shown with librarian Marian Simmons, has been volunteering at the South Natomas Library for two years. Cabrera, who will be heading off to U.C. Irvine in the fall, often translates for Spanish-speaking patrons.
Kristine Pagdayunan and Tahreem Shakeel are Inderkum High School seniors who founded the “Teens Teach Seniors
” program at the South Natomas Library, volunteering to instruct senior citizens on using computers. They reported that attendance really picked up after they were profiled
in the Library newsletter in November; another teen is now set to continue the program after they graduate.
The Genealogy volunteer table, from left: Cheryl Nelson, Ed Ely, librarian Beth Daugherty (standing), Bronze Award winners Bernie Marks and Larry Berry, and Berry’s wife Diane.