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Thank You, Volunteers!

Isabella Ramirez, Librarian, Volunteer Engagement,
Group of volunteers gathered outdoors during a volunteer recognition event in 2017
We appreciate and celebrate each and every one of our volunteers. Happy National Volunteer Week!

Volunteers have always been a part of the library. But do you know the impact they have on our communities? Currently, we have over 3,000 active volunteers. That is an additional workforce that is larger than a lot of organizations. These volunteers contribute their skills, passions, and time to support the library’s mission to provide free access to information and empower Angelenos. Volunteers consist of teens and adults in several different roles: Adult Literacy Tutors, Book Discussion Leaders, Collection Inventory Aides, Docents, Friends, Greeters, Grounds Groomer, Homework Assistants, Library Program Aides, Special Project and Event Aides, STAR readers, Teen Volunteers, and Veterans’ Resource Center Volunteers. Sometimes, our volunteers take on multiple roles; often, a Friend is also a STAR and a Docent.

Last fiscal year, our volunteers worked 29,463 hours, a value that equates to $1,047,704.28.

The pandemic and the closure of libraries had a significant impact on our volunteer program. For the first time in recent years, our volunteers were unable to step through the doors of our branches and Central Library. And yet, some aspects of our volunteer program flourished in a virtual environment. Our teen volunteer recruitment increased significantly, and now they account for about 38% or over 1,200 of all our volunteers. These teens are working on civic engagement projects via Teens Leading Change, helping improve our collections through recommendations and book reviews, and continuing to create environments that are safe spaces for young adults. Our Adult Literacy program seamlessly transferred into a virtual setting and continued to provide one-on-one sessions and classes with tutors from across the nation. Our Friends Groups looked to alternative methods for fundraising, such as hosting outdoor book sales and using fundraising platforms like Amazon Smile and Ralph’s Community Contribution Program. In 2021 their total gifts to the library were $144,911.41. Last fiscal year alone (FY 2020 - 2021), our volunteers worked 29,463 hours, a value that equates to $1,047,704.28.

This week marks the 2022 National Volunteer Week. We cannot applaud our volunteers enough for their dedication and contributions to our branches and Central Library. We are in a period of transition with our volunteer engagement. Our branches are again open to the public, and our volunteers are gearing up to return to our libraries if they have not already. It is exciting to see how our volunteer service will continue to evolve. We expect to see influences from our time in the pandemic, such as hybrid volunteer opportunities. But if there is one thing for sure, we appreciate and celebrate each and every one of our volunteers. Happy National Volunteer Week!


 

 

 

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