Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Celebrates Its Volunteers

The value of volunteering topped $1.4 million at Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System for 2014, with 1,871 volunteers donating 64,962 hours valued at $1,498,662.27 in donated services! This is the seventh year library volunteer services have topped $1 million, and the theme of this year’s event was "Volunteers Help Write Our Story."

The 25th Annual Volunteer Recognition Award Program was held Saturday, April 25, during National Volunteer Month, with over 105 people in attendance. Special guest speakers included Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, District 4, who is also former Library Board trustee and Stephanie Moody, Chair of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Board of Trustees.

Library volunteers serve as English as a second language (ESL) teachers, homework help aides, math tutors, computer assistants, clerical assistants, children’s program aides, tax aides, special event hosts and more – in any of the Library System’s 34 branches. Volunteers with Friends of the Library groups are active in 26 branches and served over 23,000 hours last year.

Some highlights of the volunteer year include:

An increase over the previous year, 153 volunteers donated over 100 hours in 2014, including 50 who donated over 200 hours. Four volunteers donated over 1,000 hours in 2014. Five young adults and four teens won the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Several volunteers reached milestones, including 31 volunteers who celebrated their 5-year service award, 16 volunteers who celebrated their 10-year service award, 6 volunteers who celebrated their 15-year service award, and one who celebrated 20 years of service. Fourteen volunteers received the Millennium Award for reaching a career total of over 1,000 hours!

Carol Harrison and Janice Tedford, volunteers with the Friends of the Roswell Library, both won the President’s Call to Service Award for reaching a career total of over 4,000 hours and with 1,289 of those hours being served in 2014, Carol was also the top hours volunteer with the highest hours for 2014. Additional winners included Laura Thompson who served 1,224 hours at the Sandy Springs Library, Ben Statham who served 1,216 hours and Gerrie Fornek who served 1,120 with the Friends of the Alpharetta Library.

There was also a dedication to volunteer Ben Statham who has broken every volunteer record and has served more than 20,000 hours since 1991. Twenty southern history books were purchased for the new Alpharetta Library and have book plates in honor of his service.

Four top hours’ volunteers presented a check for the $1,498,662.27 in donated services to the Interim Library Director Gayle Holloman, Board of Trustees Chair Stephanie Moody and Commissioner Joan Garner.

Image 1: Friends of the Alpharetta Library (FOTAL) celebrate their significant contribution in 2014 and help hold the check showing the total donation of services to the Library System of $1,498,662.27. (L to R) Linda Statham; Ben Statham; Gerrie Fornek; Heather Staniszewski, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System’s Volunteer Services Manager; Barbara Selwyn; Susan Fornek; and Sherry Wright (guest).  

Image 2: Friend of the Roswell Library Carol Harrison received the President’s Call to Service Award for serving 4,975 lifetime hours. Carol leads over 30 volunteers in the Friends of the Roswell Book Store and at quarterly book sales.

Image 3: Keisha Sawyer has been a Friend of the South Fulton Library since 2000 and proudly accepted her 15 year volunteer service pin.

Image 4: Kelvin Wright served 262 hours at the Southwest Library in 2014 and was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award for Young Adults.

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