Year in Volunteering – 2016

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Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Director Mary Frances Cooper likes to say “the Library is something we all do together.” This rings true to me in so many ways, but the biggest way I see this reflected is in the work of CLP volunteers—community members who set aside their precious time and energy to support what we do.

There’s no way one blog post can capture the scope and scale of the work that CLP volunteers do (The final numbers aren’t in yet, but to-date, volunteers have contributed more than 34,000 hours to CLP in 2016!), but this post is meant to be an overview of the work they do to make our Library, and indeed, our community, stronger. If you’ve ever wondered how we’re able to accomplish so much, this is a reminder that our community has a lot to do with it!

 

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CLP’s global language volunteers were honored with an award from the Pennsylvania State Modern Languages association this fall. In the words of Bonnie, the librarian who directly supervises the language volunteers at CLP-Main: “We have such a great team of volunteer teachers who put their hearts and souls into sharing their cultures and languages with the people of our region.”

 

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Reading Buddies volunteers read nearly 1,000 books with kids at CLP locations in Hazelwood, Hill District, Allegheny and Sheraden this year. In addition to all that reading, they provided hundreds of hours of homework help, mentoring and support for library programs, like the Super Science program at CLP-Hill District, pictured above.

 

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Teen volunteers make such a big impact helping with a variety of creative projects, peer-to-peer mentoring and general library support. Here Darryl (center) is pictured chaperoning a field trip to the Warhol Museum.

 

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We are lucky to have help from many corporate, community and student groups. These volunteers from PNC bank helped to pack literacy backpacks full of books, library information and early literacy toys like alphabet flashcards and shaker eggs.

 

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Each year, more than 100 volunteers help out with our annual Summer Reading Extravaganza – the kick off event that lead to Summer Readers logging more than 150,000 books in 2016.

 

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Members of the Library Outreach and Community Advocacy Leaders (LOCAL) team represent the library at community events and festivals, helping to spread the word and facilitate fun and educational activities. In this photo, Leslie, Rachael and Ashley are selling cookies and giving out library swag as a part of the annual Lawrenceville Cookie Mall at the Boys and Girls club.

 

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A group of volunteers from Leadership Pittsburgh’s Community Leadership Course for Veterans explored CLP’s resources for children and teens, and worked on a project to raise awareness about the Library to families in the Hilltop neighborhoods.

 

Again, these photos only show a fraction of the amazing work that volunteers do behind-the-scenes, out in the community and alongside staff in our library spaces. We can’t say thank you enough for another great year of literacy and learning.

-Ginny

 

Ginny is a baker of treats, reader of fiction and Coordinator of Volunteer Services based out of the Office of Programs and Partnerships at CLP – East Liberty. She wants to pet your dog.