The Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library have recognized two of its volunteers by honoring one as the volunteer of the decade and the other as the volunteer of the year.
2011 marks the first time anyone has been named volunteer of the decade, while only a select few have ever been named volunteer of the year.
Volunteer of the Decade
JoAnn Dumas is a familiar face at the Oro Valley Public Library. It should be seeing as she has been there for countless hours over the past 10 years.
There are many citizens around the world who volunteer their time, money and energy for a cause they hold true to their hearts and souls. That is the case with Dumas, who has been one of the most dedicated volunteers the library has had during its existence.
Dumas moved from New York to Oro Valley in June of 2002. Coincidentally, the library opened that September. The bibliophile with the charming smile has been there ever since – longer than some people spend at a paid job.
“You get to handle all of these books,” Dumas said about working for the bookstores at the library and now the Book Shoppe Two, which the library recently opened.
In order to donate your time like Dumas has, “you have to be a book lover,” she said.
However, to simply refer to someone as a book lover glosses over the true meaning as to why Dumas would volunteer 10 years of her life to the library.
“The people in this town donated the loveliest books to us,” she explained.
“Of course, if we didn’t have those books, we couldn’t do what we do,” she continued. “You get to help the library, you get to make money so that the library can fund programs, buy computers and a lot of other things that are offered at the library.”
By assisting the Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library, she and others have donated thousands of dollars to the library to purchase much needed supplies like Smart Boards and SmartView magnifiers, along with the funding for numerous programs and events.
To help these programs, the Friends sell books in both bookstores. The Book Shoppe is located in the Oro Valley library; Book Shoppe Two is at 13550 N. La Cañada Drive. They also sell books on Amazon.com and eBay.
Volunteer of the Year
Cindy Seifried used to be the assistant bookstore manager for the Book Shoppe, and is now its manager. She volunteers about 20 hours a week for the Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library.
When Seifried and her husband moved to Oro Valley from Maryland about four years ago, she started volunteering her time at the library after seeing an advertisement in the newspaper saying the facility needed volunteers.
“It is really hard to meet people in Arizona in the summer because everybody stays inside in the air conditioning,” Seifried said. “I made friends, it’s not hard to be here, and it is a lot of fun. It is satisfying.”
While volunteering her time, she gets to be creative while making book displays. She also enjoys fixing things that need repairs around the library.
Libraries around the country need people like Seifried in times when governments have cut back their funding.
“With the economy being what it is, the town and the county don’t have the money to support the library the way it used to be supported, or the way is should be supported,” Seifried said. “By selling used, donated items, we are able to give the library what it needs.”
The Friends have come up with incentives for people to buy books through its organization, like a customer appreciation card. When a person makes a purchase at one of the bookstores for more than $5, they get a stamp. Once they have 10 stamps, the card can be used for $5 off any purchase of $5 or more.
To help the process of getting books in the shops and online, Seifried also volunteers her time to help sort the books for each venue. Some books sell quickly online, whereas other books sell better in the shops.
For her help and volunteer work at the library, Seifried was honored with the title of Volunteer of the Year. It is a title she values.
“There are a lot of people who do a lot of work… but it is an honor. It is nice to be appreciated for all that you do.”