Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to volunteer for an event for the same organization where I completed my Directed Fieldwork this past quarter.
The event was the King County Library System’s Library Foundation Literary Lions Gala. Essentially, they pretty-up the Bellevue Regional Library, bring in caterers and bartenders, a keynote speaker and 10-15 local authors and copies of their books and have a fancy party right there in the library! It was an exciting opportunity to get dressed up and rub elbows with people in evening gowns and tuxedos, but the best part?
All of these people LOVE the library.
They use the library; they bring their kids to the library; they work there, volunteer their time, donate money, attend events, download ebooks, use the online catalog, etc! They spent their Saturday evening at the library!
My role as a volunteer was to set up for the event ahead of time and then work with the authors and make sure they had everything they needed during the event. It was wonderful to have conversation with the authors and the guests as they talked about — what else — READING!! I had conversations about fiction, nonfiction, e-formats, newspapers, and library school readings. Having conversation with these people invigorates me! I’m honored to have had the opportunity to spend time with great supporters (financial and otherwise) of the library!
So, here’s my advice for those of you still in school: If you have the opportunity to volunteer and meet library supporters (at a fancy event or at an everyday library program), take advantage of it! There’s no better way to learn about library users than to spend time with them! (and there’s always free food…mmmmm…)