ATLANTA - With shorter hours and reduced staff, the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System has never depended more on its volunteers.
In fact, the Fulton libraries can put a dollar figure to it. The value of volunteering topped $1.5 million at local libraries, with 2,008 volunteers donating 67,645 hours in 2013.
This is the sixth year library volunteer services have topped $1 million.
The 24th annual Volunteer Recognition Award Program was held Saturday, Nov. 15, with over 125 people in attendance.
Special guest speakers included Stephanie Moody, chairwoman of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Board of Trustees, and Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, District 6, who is also former library trustee.
Library volunteers serve as adult literacy tutors, English as second language (ESL) teachers, homework help aides, math tutors, computer assistants, clerical assistants, children's program aides, special event hosts and more - in any of the library system's 34 branches. Volunteers with Friends of the Library groups are active in 24 branches and served over 22,000 hours last year.
Some highlights of the volunteer year include:
Laura Thompson, volunteer at the Sandy Springs Branch since 2010, won the President's Call to Service Award for reaching a career total of over 4,000 hours. With 1,350 of those hours being served in 2013, she was also in the top three volunteers with the highest hours for 2013.
Additional winners included Ben Statham who served 1,379 hours with the Friends of the Alpharetta Library and Carol Harrison who served 1,174 hours with the Friends of the Roswell Library.
Eleven young adults and nine teenagers won the President's Volunteer Service Award, as well as 15 Friends of the Library groups won the President's Volunteer Service Award for groups serving over 200 hours in one year.