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2013 Volunteer Recognition Event

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

On April 19th we held our annual Volunteer Recognition Event - an evening meant to celebrate the amazing contribution Calgary Public Library volunteers make to library programs and in Calgary communities. Over 500 volunteers, guests and staff attended this year and enjoyed an awards ceremony and following reception with food, cake, and music.

Thanks to everyone that helped make it a fantastic night, and thanks to all Calgary Public Library volunteers!

Photos: John Dutton Volunteer of the Year Award Winner, Jane Baker (left); Professional Support Award Winners, Central Library's Career Coaching Strategic Networking team

A Day in the Life of Story Pals

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

This past March, Volunteer Resources staff member Marian Erb was lucky enough to observe the Story Pals program in action at the Fish Creek Library.

"I first met with Judy, the branch contact and her passion for the program is apparent in the care she devotes to it. Judy knows all the dogs, owners and participating children by name. She welcomes everyone as they arrive and her calm, warm personality sets the tone perfectly. The first four-legged volunteer to arrive was Dora, a little dog with a huge personality. She greeted us all with a wagging tail and friendly licks. It was lovely to watch the dogs greet each other with sniffs and wags as each of them arrived. The beautiful, silken-coated Bender was next to arrive and though he towered above her, Dora raced to greet him. All was repeated when the calm and gentle Angel arrived. It was obvious that they were happy to be together again and their owners assured me that the dogs get excited as soon as they pull up in the parking lot in anticipation of seeing the children.

Judy greeted the participants in the children’s area and took the first group in to read one-on-one with the dogs. Each child greeted and stroked the dogs and chatted with their owners before settling down to read. They had taken time to choose their books before coming in so they knew what they were planning to read. I watched each child settle down and confidently begin reading. They each took care to show the pictures to the dogs too so that they could enjoy the full story experience. Judy ensured that everyone had their turn and they happily read to whichever dog was partnered with them that day. I spoke with several parents who were all generous in their praise of the program. They have seen the children improve their reading skills, build their self confidence and for some, overcome their fear of dogs. Story Pals is truly a heartwarming experience for all."

Meet Our New Volunteer Adam!

by Katie R - 1 Comment(s)

Adam is just one of our 15 amazing Math Minds volunteers. Math Minds is a 14 week math tutoring program designed for children in grades one through six. Funded by Canadian Oil Sands Limited, the Math Minds program is a collaborative partnership aimed at improved numeracy throughout Calgary.

Currently in his 4th year in the University of Calgary’s General Mathematics program, Adam plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Economics. He has an obvious talent for numeracy and he knows what strategies will be effective. What makes Adam special is his dedication and ability to connect to his students. His friendly and engaging manner allows the learner to feel confident and willing to learn. Adam has not only recruited other volunteers to the program, but he has filled in for these volunteers when they have been ill. Adam has also volunteered in the World Partnership Walk, Cancer Society's Relay For Life, and Volunteer Eco Student Aboard (VESA).

When asked why he volunteers, Adam replied “I volunteer because it's important to give back to the community in any capacity that you can. In the past, I did a lot of fundraising for different organizations and as I have gotten older I have developed a new capacity to give back, which is the passing on of knowledge. Knowledge is the most vital resource in this technological age that I feel it is the best thing to give back to the community. I especially enjoy volunteering in the Math Minds Program because I love to see when students are able to connect seemingly unrelated ideas together or when they smile after realizing that Math doesn't have to be as difficult as people play it out to be.”

If your child is experiencing difficulties in mathematics, the Canadian Oil Sands Ltd Math Minds program offered by the Calgary Public Library could be the solution. Check out the links below for information on our summer program.

http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/about-us/volunteer/volunteer-programs/canadian-oil-sands-math-minds

Meet three of our Reading Buddies volunteers!

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Meet Emma!

Emma is an energetic and devoted volunteer who likes to give back to the community by participating in the Reading Buddies program. She fell in love with the program after her very first session where she helped her shy little buddy improve his reading skills and explore different genres of books. “My favourite part of Reading Buddies is going out into the library and choosing books because I can hear the improvement when the little buddies read aloud and choose new book topics.”

Emma found helping children discover a love for reading a very rewarding experience and has been a Big Buddy for over a year.

Without volunteers like Emma the Reading Buddies program would not be as successful as it is now. Emma, thank you so much for all the hard work and enthusiasm you bring with you ever time you come to Reading Buddies!

Meet Kiran!

Kiran has been a volunteer with the Calgary Public Library since the summer of 2011 and over the past year and a half she has since volunteered for every youth volunteer program and countless special events! She enjoys volunteering because she considers it to be a unique opportunity that contributes to her self-esteem and confidence. It also helps her build leadership skills and life experience. “I think putting a little time in for volunteering and gaining some valuable skills whether personal or practical is a good asset for the future. Giving back to the community makes you feel accomplished in a way.” Kiran’s favourite part of volunteering for Reading Buddies is the mentorship aspect of the program and sharing great books with her Little Buddies.

Thank you Kiran, for your flexibility, enthusiasm and teamwork! You are a truly valuable member of the Calgary Public Library’s team of youth volunteers!


Meet Richard!

Richard comes from a long line of dedicated Reading Buddies volunteers. He has been participating in the program for over 2 years and genuinely enjoys working with his Little Buddy, whoever that may be. This session, Richard has fostered a strong bond with his buddy and the pair can be seen during buddy reading time having more fun with books than anyone else in the library. Richard always has a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone, endearing him to both the Little Buddies and fellow volunteers. He goes the extra mile by sharing treats with the group, fostering the fun and welcoming environment that Reading Buddies strives to provide for participants and volunteers.

Thank you Richard for your dedication and hard work! Volunteers like you are what make Calgary Public Library such a great place to be!

To learn more about volunteering for the Reading Buddies program and other youth volunteer opportunities please contact Katie at 403-221-2036 or katie.radke@calgarypubliclibrary.com.

Congrats to our Library Volunteers!

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

On February 14, Volunteer Calgary announced the 97 nominees for their 17th Annual Leadership Awards in a special celebration held at Cardel Theatre. These awards celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of outstanding volunteers in our community. The awards recognize leaders of volunteer programs, outstanding youth volunteers, innovative volunteer programs, exceptional individual volunteers and more.

The Calgary Public Library’s nominees are Maureen Proctor, nominated for the Heart of Calgary Award, and Sarena Dharshi, nominated for the Leaders of Tomorrow Award. Our Learning Advantage program was also nominated by one of our volunteers in the Leaders in Volunteer Engagement Award category.

We would like to congratulate and thank our nominees for their outstanding contributions to the Library and in our communities!

Heart of Calgary nominee Maureen Proctor (left) and Volunteer Calgary staff Lori Deluca, and Leaders of Tomorrow nominee Sarena Dharshi

Long-time Libraries in Residence volunteers

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Dedicated and long-time Calgary Public Library volunteers, Diane Valcourt (left) and Mary Mooney, have been bringing the gift of books and reading to the residents of Southwood Care Centre every week for over 20 years!

Libraries in Residence is a unique program that brings large quantities of library books into senior care centers across the city to provide access to seniors who may not normally be able to visit the library. Every week at Southwood Care Centre, Mary or Diane wheel a cart of large print books around from resident to resident, distributing books and visiting with seniors along the way. Mary’s favourite part of volunteering with the program is “the pleasure of visiting and discussing books with so many varied people. The residents are genuinely appreciative and many don’t have much pleasure in their lives”.

It's obvious that Diane and Mary care a lot about the program and the residents it serves, taking the time to ensure each resident who would like a visit and a library book (or many!), receive one of each every week. They both believe it feels good to help others especially those who may not have the mobility needed to go outside and do the things they used to do. The time and care that Mary and Diane contribute are much appreciated not only by the residents and staff at Southwood Care, but also the Calgary Public Library who is proud to have such dedicated, long term volunteers!

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