library volunteer pinLibrary volunteers are special people, giving their time and talents without any expectation of reward or recognition. Without them, many libraries would struggle to get everything done.  In some cases, volunteers take on special projects that create valuable community resources. Often, they step up and provide crucial leadership at critical times. They extend the libraries’ reach into the community and help stretch scarce budget dollars.

This year the selection of our Volunteer of the Year award winner was more difficult than usual:  19 different volunteers were nominated by their local libraries.  Because of the large number of entries, NEKLS staff selected 4 award winners to be recognized at the annual Assembly and Budget Hearing on August 15.

2013 Volunteer of the Year Award winners are:

Bobby Garmin — Myer Library, Ottawa University.  Bobby works 3 mornings each week scanning and pdf-ing the Ottawa University Annual Catalogs 1872 – 1999.  Having completed that project, Bobby is now working on scanning sermons from the University’s Roger Fredrikson collection. His volunteer contributions have made the Library’s collections accessible world-wide for researchers and alumni.

Dan Guenther — Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. Dan serves on the library board. During his tenure he appointed an Advocacy Committee, comprised of members from the Board of Trustees, Foundation, Friends, Teen Advisors and library staff. He initiated a series of board retreats to develop a strategic plan. Dan was involved in a book challenge early in his tenure that transformed him into a library advocate and leader. He has also facilitated connections to new partners and introductions to new library donors.

Doris Hund — DePaul Library, University of St. Mary & Leavenworth Public Library.  Doris was nominated by not one, but two, libraries in Leavenworth. She is a key volunteer for both entities. At St. Mary’s Doris assists with inventory, deduping, book processing, and archival storage improvement in Special Collections. At the public library, Doris spearheaded a digitization project in their Kansas Room, creating a searchable spreadsheet database  of all businesses in the city directories beginning in 1909.  She is now adding photographs of each business as it exists today, creating an invaluable research tool.

Glenda Tompkins — Indian Hills Elementary School, Topeka.  Glenda has volunteered at Indian Hills for the past 12 years, well beyond the time her children attended school there. She volunteers an entire day each week to the school library during the school year. She also assists the librarian with inventory every spring – a multi-day task. Robin Hartpence, school librarian, says that Glenda goes “above and beyond” as a volunteer.

Congratulations to this year’s winners – and the libraries who nominated them.  Others who were nominated include:

Connie and Gaylord Kelsey — Silver Lake Library

Merilyn Kelly and Joyce Meek — Louisburg Library, District #1 Miami County

Anne Walker  and Morilla “Pud” Fothergill— Baldwin City Library

Ann Foster — Rossville Community Library

Carol Vaughn — Wellsville City Library

Jane Wentz and Wally Kinson — Perry – Lecompton Library

Martha Gregoire — Lyndon Carnegie Library

Claudia Cox — Gardner-Edgerton High School

Denise Tiller — Donnelly College, Kansas City

Rick Weber — Richmond Public Library

Anissa Chavez — Pioneer Trail Middle School, Olathe