Libraries have been important to me and my family beginning when I was a young girl. As long term residents of Belchertown, we were happy to "join" the Friends, regarding our membership as a donation to the Friends. Once I retired from teaching , I became a volunteer to support the library in a more active and participatory way. I missed the social contact with others and thought being a part of Friends would fill that void.
How long have you been involved with the Friends?
I don't remember exactly, but I think I have been a volunteer for 8 years or so. My husband and I joined many years before that.
What is your favorite part of being a Friend?
That's difficult to answer because there are many facets I enjoy. Participating in various activities with vibrant, fun, interesting people certainly keeps me coming back. In addition to the social connection, I enjoy hearing about various books, authors, activities and offerings in our area, especially those offered by the library. Having a chance to see and maybe assist former colleagues, neighbors and students is an unexpected pleasure. Of course it is also a delight to meet the variety of people, young and old, who use the library. Truthfully, I hope that shelving books, CDs, DVDs, Books on tape, etc. will help keep my mind alert and keen as I continuously review the alphabet!
What would you say to someone thinking about joining the Friends?
Having a sense of purpose in our lives leads to better health and happiness. Volunteering is one way to achieve those goals. Volunteers may choose what area and how much time they want/can spend on particular events. Some volunteers work weekly, some more often, others per annual event, or as needed. Where else can you have such flexibility and be appreciated for whatever contribution you make?
What’s your favorite book or who is your favorite author?
Out of the Woods by Katina I. Makris, CCH, CIH which presents the challenging 5 years in her life before she had a diagnosis of Lyme disease as well as her physical, emotional and spiritual recovery. I learned some of the history of diagnosing (or lack of) and treating Lyme disease. Some of the difficulty still is that the disease manifests itself very differently from one individual to another and can be misdiagnosed.
In the past few years, I especially enjoy reading the series of books by Jacqueline Winspear. The main character is an intelligent, intuitive, strong, compassionate, rational young British woman who has moments of self-doubt. The background in the stories include World War 1 in England and the aftermath, with glimpses into the different classes, how they have been affected and how they struggle to create new lives. However, I read a variety of books from mysteries to classics and I try to include non-fiction to broaden my knowledge of people or issues.