Category Archives: Volunteers

Zombie Awareness Month: Hands-on learning!

Zombie sillhouetteMay is Zombie Awareness Month, and so every Thursday this month, we will be showing you ways to use the library to learn more about zombies.

How can you get hands-on knowledge of how to survive a zombie apocalypse before it’s too late?  At your library, of course!  We are looking for teen volunteers to join our zombie horde next month.

June 15th the library will showcase our “Juicy Brains” in the Berry Dairy Days parade, and we need zombie volunteers to get in costume and walk with us.

Then, June 26th from 2:30-4:30 the Burlington Public Library will be overrun with Zombies for our first-ever Zombie Survival Scavenger Hunt.  Zombies will roam the book stacks, looking for participating “survivors” and trying to infect them before they gather all of the required pieces of their Bug Out Bag survival kits.

For the Survival Scavenger hunt, volunteer zombies will be made up by the good folks at the Northwest Hair Academy, and will have their hands dusted in glow powder so that when they touch the Survivors’ arms or backs the “infection” will show under a blacklight sweep (Blacklight courtesy of the Burlington Police Department).

Zombie volunteers can earn community service credit, as well as get some sweet photos taken of themselves in full zombie regalia at our zombie “photo booth.”

Want to be a part of our horde?

  • Email SarahL [at] ci.burlington.wa.us,
  • Come sign up in person (ask for Abby or Maggie), or
  • Contact the BPL Teens Facebook page.

zombie recruitment postcard

-Jane

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Thank a Volunteer!

It’s National Volunteer Week, that time of year in which we attempt to make sure that our wonderful volunteers feel as appreciated as they are.

We have a small volunteer program because we have a small staff, and volunteers require staff support.  I know many more people throughout our community would volunteer if we could accommodate them, and I’m sure someday we’ll be able to do that.

As for now, we have the best, most steadfast, cheerful, patient, willing, generous group of volunteers that I’ve ever worked with.  They brighten our days, take loads off our shoulders, and provide hundreds of hours of effort every year.  So find a volunteer somewhere this week, and thank them!

If you’re ready to explore the wonderful world of volunteering yourself, a great place to start is with our local Volunteer Center.

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Books, Bites and Burgundy rides again

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Volunteer Openings

So many people find such great satisfaction in using their skills to make the world better.  We’re very lucky to benefit from many great volunteers here at the library.  In celebration of National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), we’d like to put the word out that we have openings for several volunteer jobs.  Do the following summaries make you think of someone?  If so, please have them contact us at 755-0760.

  • Bulletin Board Artiste: design, produce, and maintain professional-quality bulletin boards
  • Talk Time Coordinator: coordinate a team of people to present regular sessions of an English/Spanish Talk Time for foreign-language learners in Skagit County.  Organizational and presentation skills required; bilingual great but not essential.
  • Talk Time Host:  assist in promoting and hosting the Talk Time program
  • Photographer/Archivist:  experienced photographer and/or videographer to help us record and promote library activities.

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And the winner is…

The Burlington Public Library Foundation met last night.  That’s a group of wonderful folk who look out for the library’s long-term future—for instance, by putting on our annual fundraiser, Books, Bites, and Burgundy.

 On their agenda last night was a serious matter: the bestowal of their Volunteer of the Year Award.  After extended deliberation, they made the award to Janice Burwash, a Senior Associate here at the library.  Helping the Foundation coordinate the fundraiser is part of Janice’s job—but her involvement with the event went far beyond those responsibilities.

 “There wasn’t a detail of that event that didn’t pass by Janice’s scrutiny,” recalls Library DirectorMaggie Buckholz.  “The style and elegance everyone remarked on was really a reflection of Janice’s caring and passion.” 

 One important contribution Janice accomplished on her own time—besides personally donating several raffle prizes and soliciting several more—was to recruit other experienced volunteers to help prepare and staff the event. 

 Even more amazingly, under the pressure of so many details and being everyone’s go-to person with questions and issues, Janice kept her smile and unruffled personality to support the entire Foundation and the library Director and staff.  She truly went above and beyond the pale to make the event a success.  She won the award — but the library is the real winner here.

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Meet the Bookmeister, Don Cook

I don’t really know how much Don reads, but it’s certain his free time is all about books. Don is a member of the Friends of the Library, and he is a driving force behind our book sales.  Once Don commits to doing something, he brings considerable energy and experience to the job; he has become quite a used-book entrepreneur on our behalf.

 Keep in mind that the money the Friends raise funds every one of our programs, for children, teens, and adults.  It’s what makes us able to offer our events at no charge to participants (it’s because the Friends, with their labor, have already paid!).

 Don manages the steady flow of donations into our library, sorting and storing them for both Book Ends (the permanent sale in our lobby) and the bi-annual book sales (one of which is this weekend: Friday, September 16: 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., Saturday, September 17: 10 a.m. until 3 p.m).  You’d think that would be plenty – it’s a demanding year-round job.  But no…

 Then he’s proceeded to build a county-wide network with used book stores and other library groups, even riding the ferry out to Orcas Island to pick up their sale leftovers (Orcas readers have really good taste) to include in ours.  He buys furniture for Book Ends and works on his display skills.  He knows what frequent patrons are looking for and brings treasures to their attention.  He brings heartfelt warmth and welcome to patrons as he works in the lobby.  He’s worked out a way to pass on the books that don’t sell here – for a profit!  And to all appearances, he relishes every minute.

 And oh, did I mention he’s our de facto handyman?  Something breaks: ask Don to fix it.  Need a stage?  Ask Don to build it.  Need helping moving something heavy:  “Oh, Don?”

 Such are the people with whom we are blessed.  Happy to provide service, anxious to do the best job possible.  Don, and all the others like him, are one reason this area is such a great place to live (and work).   “Thank you” seems awfully inadequate recompense.
                    –Mary Beth

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Happy Volunteer Week!

Are you aware of the volunteers that make our library go?  They are a small but mighty workforce–unsung heroes who, in fact, aren’t real interested in being sung about!  But despite their modesty and preference for anonymity, every now and again it’s good to acknowledge them and express our gratitude–if for no other reason than to celebrate service, that urge to give back, to show up, to contribute.

This week there’s a board up in the library (this being National Volunteer Week), and you are invited to come and express your own thanks to these great folk.  Please join us in that, and in being aware and grateful for volunteers worldwide, and all that they do.

 

P.S.: it’s also National Library Week.  Hooray!

                      —Mary Beth

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It Takes a Valley

I got the biggest lift this morning, and it set me to thinking. 

On the one hand, all we hear these days is economic doom and gloom.

And on the other hand, we often experience occasions of enthusiastic generosity and kindness — which is much more fun to focus on!

I had e-mailed a local bed & breadfast, soliticing a free night’s stay that we could use for our Grand Prize in the upcoming Winter Adult Reading Months (WARM) program.  And Shelly Davis, Innkeeper at the Queen of the Valley Inn over by LaConner, responded thusly:

I didn’t even have to read your entire email to know that I would be thrilled to participate in this promotion.  We celebrate books here at The Queen.  We have stacks all over the house and in every room, plus a huge library on the second floor.  Books are one of my passions; one that is shared by many of our guests.  We actually ask for book recommendations on our check-in sheet!  Count us in. 

So, it’s true: these are tough times, and the library is certainly feeling the pinch.  But it’s also true that this glorious valley is filled with supportive, generous people, from businesses like Shelly’s, to the Friends of the Library (who are meeting as I type) and other volunteers.  They don’t make the headlines: they just make (our) world go ’round.   Thanks to everybody who supports libraries!!!
                             —Mary Beth

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Calling all volunteer seamstresses

 

"The Seamstress," by N. DeJong

We’ve never tried to recruit volunteers from the blog before, but hey, why not?

We have a need, we have readers, perhaps we’ll find a match.

We’re looking for a seamstress to complete a one-time project for us, a series of identical curtains roughly 3 ft x 3 ft, with a very slight gather.  If you’ve got the talent and the time, we’d sure appreciate it, and you’ll be contributing to the beauty of our bee-youuu-te-ful library. 

For more information, please call Mary Beth at 755-0760.  And thanks!  Volunteers make our world go ’round.


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Experts on Preserving Your Family History

The Library of Congress – our mother ship – has some new “how to” information on preserving family photographs, especially digital ones.  They advise setting up a system from the point of downloading your photos from your camera, and also focus on backing up your files.  Because they are dependent on technology to make them accessible, updating your technology as well as your photos, papers, music and videos is just as critical. The Library of Congress has produced some good basic videos on “Why Digital Preservation is Important For You;” click here to view.

Both the Library of Congress and our Washington State Library have information on preserving and storing old photographic prints, snapshots, home movies, and other treasures (books, maps, textiles, etc.):  see here .  

 And the Burlington Public Library has the classic photograph conservation book Collection, use, and care of historical photographs by Robert Weinstein; you can find it on our shelves at 770.28 WEINSTEIN.

–Karen

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