Mon, Jan. 20

Letter: Being a library volunteer is best job in town


The Cottonwood Public Library expansion project has been completed. The 8,000-square-foot expansion will house the Youth Services section of the library.

The Cottonwood Library is managed by a staff of 11 employees and about 55 volunteers. The expansion of space, books, services and Internet accessibility will put a strain on the existing volunteer corps. There is a need for more volunteers to adequately serve the library's patrons.

What does a library volunteer do? Well, some work behind the scenes covering and cataloging new books, organizing patron records, etc. But the majority of volunteers serve at the front desk.

I have been a volunteer at the library for almost 10 years. When I retired and relocated to Cottonwood I sought an area to lend my time and energy for a good purpose. I added up a number of personal attributes - avid reader, lover of books and literature, ardent conversationalist, systems-oriented - and the sum of these attributes pointed to the library.

My assignment is to check books in, check books out and put books on the shelves. That's my stated mission. But there is another aspect to the job. I interact - a lot - with people who read. We often exchange ideas about books. I have come to know many people whose literary tastes coincide with mine, and many who disagree with me.

I have met some interesting people at the library. I remember a 14-year-old boy who spent a lot of time around cook books. I spoke with him and he told me of his passion for cooking, especially Italian food. He was featured in the food column in the Verde Independent shortly after that.

Another time, a teenage girl was checking out the soundtrack from the musical stage show, Les Miserables. I asked her if she ever saw the dramatic film version. She said she hadn't, but she did read the book. That's a monumental volume and I was very impressed. Also I'm pleased to see so many people who come to use the computer for internet access.

Volunteers work on schedules that are convenient for them, usually half-day shifts. It's all interesting, fun and, above all, a useful service to the community. It could be exactly the kind of activity you've been looking for. Come and give it a try.

Come, be a Cottonwood Library volunteer!

David Kanowsky


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