Through the Eyes of a Volunteer

Written by: 
Sharon Fender

Hmmm, to be or not to be? That was my question over nine years ago when deciding whether to become a volunteer at the Fraser Valley Library. Well, there is no doubt about it now; the answer is 'to be.' I find it to be the most enjoyable unpaid job I've ever had.

I love books, and I get to handle lots of them while shelving. In fact, almost every week I find myself checking out one or more that were irresistible. I get a kick out of finding misshelved books, and have even more fun when I find the unseen one that got shoved to the back of the shelf. The soft sound of the little electronic beeps in the background as books are checked out is comforting.

There are many unseen fringe benefits. I see the library patrons change with the seasons. In the winter I hear the swish of their ski clothes when they walk in. It's always much quieter once summer arrives. I see the wide range of patrons, from grandparents to toddlers, each enjoying our lovely facility in their own way.

It's pleasant working with the FVL staff; they're very professional, and--well--they're just plain nice.

There are other ways volunteers get to help the staff. Often we assist with inventory, or repair damaged books, or pull books that another library in the system has requested, or even water the plants. In addition to the social aspect of volunteering and of feeling helpful, I get the added benefit of keeping my mind active, at least the part that remembers the alphabet! All in all, it's fun volunteering at the Fraser Valley Library and helping to keep our wonderful resource operating.