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Library, volunteers have binding relationship

April 19, 2014
By Brittany Cook - Staff Writer ( , The Advertiser-Tribune

Tiffin-Seneca Public Library benefits from the work of many volunteers.

Susan Murray said she started going to the library's book discussions after she retired in 2001 to stay active and meet new people.

When Murray discovered the pages, who put books away, among other thigs, were laid off and the library needed people to shelve books after the library levy failed in 2009, she got interested in volunteering.

Article Photos

Susan Murray shelves books in the non-fiction section of the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library.

"I got it in my head that I could do that for a couple hours a week," she said.

Murray said she was trained in shelving books, shelf reading and other jobs.

"You'd think you only have to put the books on the shelf, but there's a lot to do," she said.

Murray said she got involved with the volunteer program because she wanted to have something to do after retiring.

"Really, I love to read, so it was a perfect match. It's something useful, and at the same time, I'm learning about what the latest books are," she said. "It gets me out of the house for a couple hours a week."

More individuals help during the week, and Murray said the volunteers fell into a routine.

"We just kind of fell into it and it turned out that I prefer the non-fiction," she said. "I was a math teacher and an accountant, so I liked the numbers."

She also volunteers during the book sale.

Murray said volunteers help free up the library staff.

"It gives them more time to work with the customers and that's the important thing," she said. "It's really important that the librarians there can interact with the people and not having to spend their time back in the stacks."

Murray said volunteering is better than giving money.

"It makes you feel like you're doing something useful," she said. "Giving money is too easy. You can't just throw money at this problem. You've got to have someone to put the books away."

Heidelberg University student Markilynn Hogle helps organize volunteer efforts between the university and the library. As the co-vice president of service in the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, she works with the library to recruit students to work on library events.

Hogle said Alpha Phi Omega members have helped with the book sale tear down, Get Loopy at Your Library and Abraham Lincoln's birthday party at the American Civil War Museum of Ohio.

Hogle said she got involved with volunteering through her mother.

"I like to help people, my mom is a nurse, so she's got me involved in different events going on at her work and would like to continue working with them," she said. "I would like to make a good change (in the community)."

One of the library's most popular events is the annual book sale.

Friends of the Library organizes the event to raise money for and support the library.

Marilyn Mangano has worked with Friends of the Library and the book sale for about 20 years.

"I've been here since day one," she said.

Mangano said she also taught scrapbooking classes at the library in the past.

She said the fun part about volunteering was meeting new people. Mangano got involved with volunteering at the library because she liked to read.

"I thought this was a good volunteer project to do in my spare time," she said.

Jane Tomaszewski, former president of Friends of the Library, has been involved for about eight years.

Friends of the Library also puts on the teas for retired library staff. Tomaszewski said the group also was involved in the 2009 levy campaign.

As it is the main fundraiser, she said the book sale brings many volunteers, such as students from Tiffin University.

She said much can be learned from volunteerism, including her work at Mercy Tiffin Hospital.

"You meet so many people (at the library)," she said. "I've met people I never would have known in a million years if I wasn't volunteering."

To volunteer, call the library at (419) 447-3751.



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