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Volunteers Prove Priceless to Citrus Libraries

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Volunteers Prove Priceless to Citrus Libraries

Volunteers Prove Priceless to Citrus Libraries

Every April, the United States celebrates National Volunteer Month. As part of that celebration locally, the Citrus County Library System honors all of its volunteers. Citrus Libraries is fortunate to have so many active, loyal and passionate volunteers. They give their time in the individual branches, at the Friends of the Library Book House and Book Sales, as well as members and board representatives for Friends of the Library organizations across the county. The appointed members of the Library Advisory Board are also volunteers that provide valuable input and recommendations for library operations. They help with a multitude of tasks throughout the year, from cleaning and shelving materials to sorting donations to delivering books to the homebound, helping with our literacy initiatives, advocating for the library, supporting activities and programming and even taking care of our plants. Our volunteers range in age from teenagers to retirees and they all have one thing in common – they love the library!

The Citrus Libraries volunteers have proven their dedication to the community more than once over the last year. They have continued to give their time and talents to the library system. Last year, the library had over 260 volunteers, including more than 65 teenagers. These dedicated individuals contributed 12,797 hours to the library, which is the equivalent to over 6 full-time staff members.

For the first time since 2019, Citrus Libraries was able to host the Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 9th at the Central Ridge Community Center in Beverly Hills. Library Director Eric Head led the event by first recognizing the volunteers that we have lost over the past few years. Mr. Head then recognized the raised hands of volunteers that have been with Citrus Libraries for more than 10, 15, and 20 or more years. As the hands slowly came down, one stayed lifted – that of John Sampedro, a 26-year volunteer at the Central Ridge branch, the library’s longest serving volunteer.

Each branch presented their Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award to an individual from that location for their service and dedication. These awards included Holly Wilk at Central Ridge, Robin Quinn at Coastal Region, Stephen Cox at Floral City, Deb Spence at Homosassa and Kay Wolf at Lakes Region. Our Adult Literacy team also presented the Adult Literacy Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award to Joseph Gilbody of Homosassa.

New to the award line-up this year was the Teen Volunteer of the Year Award. This award recognizes a teen volunteer that has shown an amazing dedication and passion for our libraries, and was presented to Jason Lu of Homosassa. Jason has been volunteering for two years and has contributed more than 100 hours each year. He is an exceptional young man that has a strong work ethic and a desire to help others, as showcased by his time working with patrons with technology questions on Saturdays. He has applied to several top-level colleges and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Finally, Citrus Libraries presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to José Weber of the Coastal Region branch. Ms. Weber has been volunteering for over 10 years. She has been involved in many aspects of the library’s function from shelving materials to helping with several programs, such as adult crafting programs and sewing, to recently becoming the Vice President of the Friends of the Coastal Region Library. José is always happy to assist the library staff whenever she is needed and she is a valuable asset to the Coastal Region branch and the Citrus County Library System.

Citrus Libraries wishes to congratulate all of our 2022 award winners and give a heartfelt thank you to the more than 260 volunteers that have helped make Citrus Libraries an outstanding service to the community. Library staff greatly appreciate how amazing the volunteers are and recognize them as valued members of the Citrus Libraries team!

For more information on the volunteers and getting involved, you can follow the library on Facebook and Instagram at @CitrusLibraries, and check out our Outside the Stacks library blog for monthly volunteer spotlights.

Beverly Wojnar
Customer Service Specialist at Coastal Region Branch

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