John F. Kennedy stated that “Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.” The volunteers of the Adams County Library System, and the three Friends of the Library groups, truly do make a difference, and without them, we would not be able to continue to connect people to opportunities that enrich their lives.
National Volunteer Week was established by a Presidential Proclamation in 1974. It was created to help promote and show appreciation of volunteerism and volunteering. This year it falls from April 7 – April 13.
Volunteering has many different benefits. One such benefit is that volunteering helps to connect you with others. It is a great way to meet new people and strengthens your ties to the community. For those people who may be shy, volunteering can help you practice your social skills.
Volunteering can also help with stress and anxiety as well as depression, self-confidence, and a sense of purpose. It goes back to working with others, having a built-in support system, and keeping you mentally stimulated.
Volunteering can also be fun. If you’re volunteering with an organization whose mission fits in with your interests, then you could find the volunteer work that you do relaxing or energizing. It can give you a break from your day-to-day routine that can help to stimulate your creativity.
Our volunteers give in a variety of ways. Some of our volunteers help out with our programming, running story times or helping with one of our many book discussions. You may see a volunteer at the circulation desk in one of our branches checking in returned books. At all of our branches, you will see volunteers shelving. Just checked out the newest James Patterson novel? After it was cataloged, that book was prepared for the shelf by a volunteer. FunFest and the Signature Event, our two largest events, would not happen without the help of many different volunteers. We have a dedicated group of volunteers who serve on the One Book Committee, reading 30+ titles each year to decide on the One Book. Did I mention that our Board of Trustees are all volunteers? In 2018, our volunteers gave over 2,136 hours of their time.
The three Friends of the Library groups; The Friends of the Adams County Library, The Friends of the Littlestown Library, and The Friends of the New Oxford Area Library are all volunteer groups that are serving to benefit the libraries in their communities. These volunteer organizations help the library grow and thrive thanks to the generous gifts of time and resources.
So I would like to say “Thank You” to the many volunteers of the library system. Without their hard work, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish half of what we do. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Submitted by Sara Edmiston, Community Relations Librarian