Thursday, March 23, 2017

Managers: Keep An Eye Out for New Projects


Last year while scouting around for new projects to keep our volunteer department fresh and on everyone's radar, I realized that our broadcast department had never hosted a conference. As a member of a professional broadcast organization, we received industry updates via email from time to time. Scanning the organization's newsletter, I found a contact name and asked if the annual conference had ever had a host from the East Coast. Not for some time, but we would be the first host station from New Jersey. Realizing that the bulk of the work would fall on me (we are a two-person station), I nevertheless decided it would be worth the trouble for me, and by extension, our volunteers.

The experience left me exhausted but glad that I was able to use my organizational and creative skills on a much larger scale. Our volunteers made me proud and  we received quite a few compliments on their professionalism.

You may be understaffed, overworked, and busy just maintaining your daily schedule, but consider taking on a larger project.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Volunteering Essential With Baby Boomers


It's amazing that nearly eight years after my last post about volunteerism, that Baby Boomers are still some of our most loyal volunteers! Volunteering seems to be something that is built into the weekly schedule of those who are 50 years old and older. Many of our volunteers make initial contact with our office a year before they submit their retirement documents. They like to hit the ground running!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Volunteers Appreciate Open House

Our library's open house festival this month was another opportunity to gain perspective from new volunteers. Even those who have been volunteering for several months told me how much they appreciated having the experience of woking one-on-one with the visually impaired and those with physical handicaps.

This is one of the only times that so many of our customers have an opportunity to come to our site in person. Volunteers who usually record the news in our studio don't get an opportunity to immediately see the result of their effort. No matter how many times you tell someone that they really make a difference, it indeed makes a difference to them when they actually see the person they are serving. Volunteers were given tasks that were more "hands-on" like guiding a low-vision or blind person around the library for the entire afternoon. Most guests were very gracious but some were a challenge.

I must admit that this reinforced my appreciation for our hard-working volunteers who handled wheelchairs, talked with customers and made sure that they were able to enjoy the entertainment, exhibits and our keynote speaker.

The volunteers thanked me for the experience but I continued to thank them for many days thereafter.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Volunteer Numbers Up in 2008

Read an article yesterday (and saw an expanded news report on TV later) about the influx of volunteers nationwide. The news report focused on a retired couple who sold their home and now spend their days traveling around in an RV rebuilding homes for needy families.

The stats include all volunteer endeavors so I assume that includes those who volunteer at libraries as well.

More and more people contact our office after seeing a PSA about our program or seeing an ad in the newspaper or hearing about it from a friend who already volunteers with us.
This is really neat! I am also pleased that our pool of volunteers include those from a wide variety of professions and backgrounds.

What an encouraging and uplifting phenomenon.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Volunteers Are Special

I attended an appreciation event at a high school this morning. A group of our special ed volunteers honored our site and others with appreciation plaques! Very special. The volunteers wrote a few words and gave brief speeches to present us with the plaques. I'm really glad I was able to attend. My colleague and I noticed the reaction of several special ed volunteers whose "bosses" were unable to make it. They read their speeches anyway but you could feel the quiet disappointment. Things like that remind me of the vastness of the impact of volunteerism.

What have been your reactions to similar volunteer events? Send a post!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Tech Tappas Completed

Well all Tech Tappas exercises are completed and I look forward to "graduation" on Staff Development Day this Wednesday.

I plan to go back to each exercise to practice each feature and customize this blog when I have the time.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Podcasts for eLearning

Podcasts are quite useful in foreign language acquisition. The 2 podcasts I added to my bloglines account are Drexel eLearning and Learn Spanish on Coffee Break.

For years I've been making a mental note to begin improving my Spanish speaking skills. My natural inclination is to turn to the old Berlitz audiotape series but learning bit by bit from a podcast gives me the flexibility of learning at my own pace; fitting a mini lesson into my busy schedule.

Hopefully I'll be able to be a bit more fluent in Spanish before our library's October open house. We'll see.