Library volunteers assist throughout the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System with clerical duties, returning items to the shelves and tutoring. Over 500 volunteers a month help strengthen our resources available to patrons, but recently volunteers have impacted our system in other ways. Former Ocee Library teen volunteer, Josh Seides, founded the national nonprofit Technocademy when he was in the 9th grade! Recently he partnered with assistant branch manager Karen Kennedy at the Ocee Library to host the first session of their new segment called CodeKids to teach digital literacy.
Technocademy has already reached over 150,000 seniors and is excited about expanding their work to help children. Two other former Ocee teen volunteers joined for the first of six computer programming classes for elementary and middle school kids. Seides served as a library volunteer from 2010-2013, Alice Tang served in 2011-2012 and Manu Poruthoor served in 2010-2011, but they are serving the library again to help teach 30 kids ranging from 3rd grade to 9th grade computer coding. Technocademy’s highly skilled team will be providing hands-on Microsoft Office training for teens and adults this summer in the evening. Ocee staff are delighted to expand the Microsoft Office training sessions to reach additional teen and adult students seeking to enhance their digital literacy skills.
Other volunteers have transitioned to new roles as new part-time staff members. Sohna Harzeez started volunteering in 2014 at the East Atlanta Branch and is now working at the Central Library. Harzeez said, “I am able to see more of the inner workings of the library and am already making things easier for the Librarians.” Stephanie Bottom served as a volunteer at the Central Library and Hapeville Branch, but is now employed again as a part-time Library Associate with the Adamsville/Collier Heights Branch. Ellen Baxter is a library student who started volunteering at the Roswell Branch and transitioned into an internship with Collections Management at the Central Library before starting part-time back at the Roswell Branch. Baxter said,
I am thrilled to be back in the library as an employee. Volunteering, which I mainly did before being hired in 2011 and then after being laid off in 2014, has kept me connected to the library and to my love of literacy. I love having a job where someone's day can be changed in an instant by obtaining a library card. Working again within the library system also enhances my graduate studies in Library and Information Science and gives me more experience to bring to my studies and vice versa.
Are you interested in joining our wonderful group of volunteers? Visit the website to fill out an application and get started!