The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System recently celebrated National Volunteer Appreciation Week by recognizing the record breaking achievement and lifetime total of 20,000 volunteers serving over 1.2 million volunteer hours, marking the 10th year volunteer services have topped the $1 million mark in value for service. In 2017, 2,562 volunteers donated 62,670 hours, valued at $1,512,853.80 in donated services. This year’s theme, “Volunteers Make Our Hearts Sing” falls in concert with the National Summer Reading Theme, “Libraries Rock.”
The 28th Annual Volunteer Recognition Award Program welcomed over 105 people to the Central Library in downtown Atlanta, where 238 volunteers were recognized during the ceremony. Awards were also given out at smaller celebrations throughout the Library System, honoring supporters from every part of the County. Special guest speaker, Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall, District 4, highlighted the importance of service to community while addressing attendees. Also on hand to present awards to guest were Library Director, Dr. Gabriel Morley, Board of Trustees Chair, Paul Kaplan, Vice Chair, Phyllis D. Bailey and member Joseph Piontek.
Library volunteers help the library throughout the year by shelving materials, teaching coding, English as a second language (ESL), Tai Chi and yoga, as well as by serving as clerical assistants, children’s program assistants, tax aides, special event hosts and more – in most of the Library System’s 34 branches. Volunteers with 11 community groups and 23 Friends of the Library groups were active serving over 27,800 hours last year.
Some special milestones celebrated during the ceremony include: six volunteers receiving the Millennium Award for reaching over 1,000 hours of service to the Library System, two volunteers reached 20 years of service, seven volunteers celebrated 15 years of service, 20 volunteers hit their 10 years of service mark and 28 volunteers celebrated 5 years of service. In addition to all the adults honored, teen volunteers were also honored with the National President’s Volunteer Service Award for their service and youth volunteers of the year included Insiya Motiwala for her work with the Teen Advisory Board at Milton Library and Haley Whetstone for her bilingual storytime at Washington Park Library.
Additional honors included:
- The Harriet Macklin Adult Volunteer of the Year – Lynn Isenberg, Milton Library
- Northside Friends president and Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation Chair Nina Radakovich
- New Volunteer of the Year, Kokumo Jones, Palmetto Library
- Staff Award for Effective Work with Volunteers, Jason Blackstock, Milton Library
- National President’s Call to Service Award, Sue Quinby, Friends of the Northeast/Spruill Oaks Library President, Lifetime Volunteer (4,000+ hours)
Top award winning volunteers and staff presented a check for the $1,512,853.80 in donated services to Commissioner Natalie Hall, Library Director, Dr. Gabriel Morley, Board of Trustees Chair, Paul Kaplan and Vice Chair, Phyllis D. Bailey and Board Member, Joseph Piontek.
Photo provided by: Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
Commissioner Natalie Hall, Deepali Raghuwanshi, teen bronze award winners Mayank Raghuwanshi and David Clemons, Kysh Clemons and Dr. Gabriel Morley celebrate the teens’ service to the library. The Library System awards teens and young adults with the National President’s Volunteer Service Awards for serving over 50 hours annually.