By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon’s public library is doing some recruiting – and it’s a great way for youth and adults to help their community.
Library volunteering dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Mabel C. Fry Public Library is making a concerted effort to build back its volunteer base.
“We’re looking for more volunteers,” library associate Mary Dougherty said. “We have a dozen people on staff – seven of them full-time.
“That is just not enough.”
Yukon’s public library is open six days a week – Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Right now, we’re trying to rebuild (the volunteer list),” Dougherty said. “We’ve just started back using volunteers this year. We have three adult volunteers now who are consistently coming.
“We’d like to have one in the morning and one in the afternoon, at least.”
Between 3-6 p.m. is typically the busy time at Yukon’s community library, 1200 Lakeshore. It also can be hectic right after a holiday when materials are returned.
Some of the library’s dedicated volunteers are residents who are retired or have lost spouses.
“They’re not getting out and they need a purpose,” Dougherty shared. “For a lot of our older volunteers, it’s a way to give back to the community – and to get out in the community.”
Mabel C. Fry Library staff is seeking help in a variety of areas.
Volunteer tasks are often similar to the work performed by library staff members.
“It’s not reading to the kids,” Dougherty pointed out.
Volunteers help with processing, shelving and straightening books and other materials. They help by vacuuming the library’s vast carpeted areas and cleaning tables and books.
Meanwhile, they contribute by preparing for and augmenting staffing at library programs and reading kick-off events.
And they pitch in by manning library book sales and other special events.
Youth in eighth grade and above and adults are welcome to volunteer at their Yukon library.
“You need to be able to be mobile, get up and down and do some lifting,” Dougherty explained.
Library personnel prefer volunteers that come in on a consistent basis.
“We like to have them weekly, at least a couple of hours,” Dougherty added.
Some school librarians and teachers volunteer at the Mabel C. Fry Library during their summer break.
“It’s great because they see and interact with kids that they know,” Dougherty said. “And the kids like to see a familiar face when they come in.”
Anyone interested in becoming a Mabel C. Fry Public Library volunteer should stop by the library or call (405) 354-8232.