Helen Keller once said that, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  
     As the Adams County Library System moves through the various stages of reopening, we’re excited to welcome back our many volunteers into our buildings.  From assisting with programming, processing books and materials before they reach the shelves, helping with general office work, and assisting at special events such as FunFest, the volunteers of the Adams County Library System are an indispensable part of our team. 
     Volunteering just two or three hours a week can be beneficial, not just to the chosen organization, but also to you, the volunteer. Volunteering should feel like a fun, rewarding hobby – not like another item on your to-do list.
     One of the benefits to volunteering is that it offers a connection to others.  Volunteering offers a connection to the community that you may not have had before.  You can make new friends or contacts by volunteering, or strengthen relationships that already exist.
     Volunteering benefits both your physical and mental health.  It can help counteract the effects of stress, anger and anxiety.  By volunteering and meeting new people, you build a support system which, in turn, can help protect from depression.  It can also help to increase your self-confidence.
     Volunteering should be fun.  Find volunteer opportunities that align with your interests.  By volunteering with an organization that fits within one of your hobbies, it can be a relaxing escape from day-to-day routines.
     Volunteering can help you gain job skills.  It can help you build upon skills that you already have or teach you new ones.  It’s a great way to experience different career fields.
     Before committing to any volunteer work, you should think about why you want to volunteer.  What do you enjoy doing?  What are your goals?  Do you want to work with children, teens, adults or animals?  Would you rather work as part of a team or alone? How much time do you have to commit to volunteering?  What is your why?  These are just some of the questions that you should ask yourself as you’re thinking about volunteering.  There are many opportunities available, so finding the right fit shouldn’t be too difficult.
     As we welcome back our regular volunteers, we are also happy to welcome new volunteers to our branches.  We have recently updated our Volunteer page on our website (www.adamslibrary.org/support-library/volunteer) to reflect the various positions that may be available.  Viewers of the Volunteer page will find job descriptions for a variety of volunteer positions, a Prospective Volunteer Form that can be used to indicate interest in volunteer positions, information about the required clearances, and more.        Just like the library staff, all volunteers are required to wear face masks while volunteering in any of our branches.
If volunteering at the library sounds like something that would interest you, let us know.  As Sherry Anderson said, “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.”

Submitted by Sara Edmiston, Community Relations Librarian