Did you know that Halifax Public Libraries welcomes hundreds of volunteers each year to support a variety of programs and initiatives?
Ranging from teen volunteers taking part in Leading Readers and Youth Advisory Teams, to adult volunteers tutoring newcomers learning English in our Conversation Groups and English Language Learning programs, it is evident that these programs are as successful as they are because of our outstanding community supporters.
Here, staff member Sarah shares her experiences working with volunteers at the Alderney Gate Public Library Conversation Group.
Library volunteers bring joy to us all
I feel so lucky that I get to work with our Conversation Group volunteers and see firsthand just how wonderful they are. These volunteers spend every one of their Saturday mornings creating a safe space for conversation. It always makes me smile to walk around the library and see everyone laughing and having much fun. Even now that our program has gone online, our volunteers are there creating a welcoming digital space in their groups. I am amazed by their flexibility and dedication.
I wondered what motivates the volunteers that I work with, so I reached out to two of our long-time volunteers, Terri D’Souza and Peter Wright, and they were happy to share their inspiration for volunteering.
Let us tell you about Terri and Peter
Both Terri and Peter explained that a large factor in their decision to volunteer is motivated by the connection that they share with their groups. Terri mentioned how tight-knit her community of learners and volunteers is, and that they really seem like a group of friends catching up rather than people taking part in a Library program.
Although they have had to move their Conversation Groups online, even this has been something of a blessing in disguise, as it has allowed people who have had to move away from the city to continue their participation with the group- working on their English skills and developing the social bond that began in branch.
"Why we volunteer."
Terri and Peter also suggested that volunteering:
- Offers meaningful service that makes a difference in the community
- Creates a sense of belonging for others by welcoming them and encouraging them to share their skills and knowledge
- Offers opportunities for socialization, meeting new people, and forging friendships
Our appreciation overflows
I am fortunate to be able to work with our volunteers, including Terri and Peter, and know that we have many others at Halifax Public Libraries that are building important connections and sharing their expertise with our community.
Thank you to our volunteers.
We are so lucky to work with you!