We’re celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 10 – 16!
Meet Sara Falhaufer, who volunteers as a shelf reader at Central Library. She just completed the library technician program at Mohawk College yesterday (congratulations, Sara!) and her education, coupled with her volunteer work here, have helped her to get a job at Waterloo Public Library.
“I love public libraries and I love how libraries embrace the community aspect. It’s a place where people can gather together, and it’s creative and engaging,” she says.
Our volunteer shelf readers adopt sections of the stacks and go through them on a regular basis, making sure every item is in its correct spot. It’s a time-consuming task, and one that can seem tedious if you’re not interested in the material.
Sara is responsible for the shelves of resources for ESL learners.
“It’s been interesting to see how well-used it is,” she says. “One of my passions is helping people connect with knowledge and resources. Even though I’m doing what might seem like a small task, I know it’s important for day-to-day operations. And I feel I’m connected to my community.”
Sara values her work in the language-learning section because she knows she’s contributing to the larger community, particularly newcomers to the Kitchener area. She’s done this in another way: by helping out the staff in Children’s and Teen Services when they’ve hosted large groups of Syrian refugee children for afternoons of interactive fun.
“The staff have been so welcoming and there are always other opportunities,” she says. She has also volunteered for larger events such as Kidspark and the Genealogy Fair, which sparked an interest in genealogy and led to her attending the Genealogy Conference of Ontario.
If you’re coming to 85 Queen: An Evening with Kirstine Stewart on Friday, April 15, be sure to say hi to Sara – she’s volunteering at the registration desk!