Inside The Library: Volunteers gave libraries 1,229 hours last year

Volunteer Canada has declared April 15 – 21 National Volunteer Week. Organizations across Canada, including the Prince Edward County Public Library & Archives, are taking this opportunity to recognize the generous community members who give their time, talent and energy to their community.

In 2017, 1,229 hours of volunteer work were given to the library to help achieve programs and projects that would otherwise be impossible. Thank you to those volunteers- your contributions are valuable and appreciated!

The library is governed by a volunteer board of trustees who lend their expertise to a variety of tasks including policy development and strategic planning. Volunteers also deliver books and other library materials to patrons across Prince Edward County who can’t get out to the library.

Volunteers visit nursing and retirement homes as well as people who live independently. We regularly hear from the patrons who receive delivery how much they appreciate having access to library books and how much they look forward to the visit with our volunteers. If you have a neighbour you know has a hard time getting into the library, why not offer to bring them books? Library staff can help you select books and have a bag ready for you to pick up. A short visit can have lasting impact. Volunteers also make up the Friends of the Library groups at the Ameliasburgh, Consecon, Milford, Picton and Wellington Branches of the Library. Friends groups advocate and promote the library in the community. The “Friends” are cheerful, tireless supporters who do everything from maintaining gardens to organizing large book sales and other fundraising events.

Musician volunteers for the Musical Instrument Lending Library lead jam sessions, organize the instruments and contribute their musical experience to guide new members in selecting an instrument to try. At the Archives, volunteers work to digitize important historical documents, index and research.

These are just a few of the different ways people volunteer to support their library.

The library’s major project for this year is fundraising for an expansion to the Picton branch and volunteers are an important part of this campaign. We are delighted to have already received offers from various members of the community who will lend their time and talents to a talk or workshop and in the process collect a voluntary donation for the fundraising efforts. This will not only help expand the Picton Library, but will also provide interesting and engaging talks and workshops to the community.

If you are interested in volunteering to deliver books or leading a workshop or talk to fundraise for the library expansion, please drop by your neighbourhood library or give us a call.

Don’t miss the History Speaks series at the Wellington branch Saturday at 11 a.m. Jessica Chase will share her experiences working at Buckingham Palace and share some interesting facts about the Royal Collection. Next Saturday, April 28, at 11 a.m. Anne Adams will share ‘The History of Textiles and Fibre Crafts.” An accomplished textile and embroidery historian, author and teacher, Adams is well known for not only her skill but her vast knowledge and talent.

On Saturday, May 5 at 11 a.m. author Marc Seguin will speak about Victorian soldier-artist, Henry Edward Baines, has left us a unique legacy of his time in North America — his lively and descriptive journal of a pleasure cruise around Lake Ontario in the summer of 1863. Illustrated with dozens of vibrant watercolour paintings and simple pen-and-ink sketches, The Cruise of the Breeze is an annotated version of Baines’ journal reproduced in its entirety, together with the story of his early life, a discussion of his artwork, and the details of the events leading to his tragic death in 1866 in the Great Fire of Quebec, all set in the context of the BritishEmpire of the mid-19th Century.

Also, don’t forget the ninth annual County Reads tonight at the Waring Hall from 7-9 p.m. and the County Reads…More! events at Picton Town Hall and the Picton branch tomorrow and Saturday. For details, see

-Liz Zylstra