Help Wanted: Orem library seeks volunteers

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    By PETER CARR

    The Orem City Library needs volunteers to help in its effort to get people and information together.

    “We treat our volunteers better than our employees,” said Sharon Kresge, volunteer coordinator for the library. “Employees get paid — volunteers get loved.”

    Kresge said there is a great need for volunteers at the library.

    “Orem City believes you should do three jobs to one person,” said Kresge. “If we ever say we need more people on the circulation desk, their reply is to work smarter, not harder.”

    Volunteers make up for the shortage of staff and many are just as valuable as the employees, Kresge said.

    People are needed to work in the children’s and media departments, adult reference area, technical services, information desk and in the children’s story telling sessions.

    Training is given as needed for most areas, while volunteers at the information desk receive formal training before they are allowed to give service.

    Benefits to volunteers range from gaining work experience to providing service to the community. The various positions available are applicable to many majors, Kresge said.

    Communications majors and those dealing with public service can gain experience at the information desk. Theater students can use their talents reading for story telling time in the children’s area. Others just need an opportunity to learn something new and enjoy serving in the community.

    Chelsea Merritt said she became a volunteer last June to occupy her spare time during the summer. She enjoyed it enough that she has stayed on as a volunteer this fall and is hoping to get hired on staff once a position opens up.

    “It’s not too stressful, only two hours a week,” Merritt said. “I like the quiet and the books.”

    Art students may also portray their work in one of the four public displays at the library.

    “I really like to display student artists because it’s hard for them to find a place to get their work seen,” said Alison Phipps, coordinator for the art displays.

    Phipps said there is a difference as to what art is displayed according to its location. The two near the circulation desk are meant to be a link between the artwork and what can be found within the library. The two facing the city offices are meant to be aesthetically pleasing and any art will do.

    The library is unable to promote the sale of the artist’s work, but they will put the artist’s name and a contact number in the display case.

    “This isn’t a really great art buying community,” Phipps said. “The main advantage of this is exposure for the artist, not selling things.”

    There are also opportunities for those who wish to provide service but not on a regular basis. Adopt-A-Shelf was designed to allow patrons the chance to take care of one shelf in the library, said Jeanie Harring, reference clerk at the library.

    Families, scouts, family home evening groups and individual patrons have chosen this route of service. These groups make sure the books are in order, inform the library of books that might be missing and advise the library of books it might acquire that will fit in their shelving area.

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