JPL Honors “Priceless” Volunteers

Volunteer group editJacksonville Public Library and the Board of Library Trustees showed the love to JPL volunteers with a special recognition at the Main Library on April 14, during National Library Week and National Volunteer Week. On behalf of the Board and in front of an audience of Board members, library staff, Friends groups and volunteers, Board Chair Erin Skinner read a resolution to thank all of the library’s volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

Skinner thanked volunteers for their commitment to the library, and for making an impact on the community. She described volunteer contributions as “absolutely priceless” and encouraged others to take their cue from JPL volunteers, saying they make the library a better place.

“Because of the time you spend helping out, our librarians have more time to prepare quality programs and provide better customer service,” Skinner said. “With past budget cuts and now that we’ve added hours back to our libraries, we need volunteers like you more than ever.”

The library averages 232 volunteers and during the last fiscal year logged more than 22,000 hours of volunteer service. Volunteers do just about everything from assisting with shelf-check machines and shelving books to teaching computer skills and volunteering to lead ESL and GED classes in the Center for Adult Learning to fundraising through the various Friends groups.

All JPL volunteers were honored for sharing their time and talents, and for serving as an inspiration to others. Board of Library Trustee members Ronnie King and Dr. Brenda Simmons-Hutchins assisted Skinner with the presentations for five outstanding honorees:

Nicholas Hawkins – Outstanding Teen Volunteer (Main Library)
A high school senior, Nick was recognized for his dedication and willingness to help with anything in the Teen Department—sorting, shelving and assisting with preparing for library programs. In just one year, he has earned 100 volunteer service hours. Way to go Nick!

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BOLT member Dr. Brenda Simmons-Hutchins presents Joyce Charron, Outstanding Children’s Department Volunteer, with a plaque.

Joyce Charron – Outstanding Children’s Department Volunteer (Regency Square Branch Library)
A volunteer since the 1980s, Joyce spends a lot of time preparing artwork such as felt cutouts for children’s storytimes and other programs. In 1995 she was named Jacksonville Public Library Volunteer of the Year. She and her husband Ed have been active Friends members since 1963. Kudos to Joyce!

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Kimberly Hauser, Outstanding Volunteer Instructor, is flanked by BOLT Chair Erin Skinner (left), and BOLT member Dr. Brenda Simmons-Hutchins (right).

Kimberly Hauser – Outstanding Volunteer Instructor (Center for Adult Learning)
Kimberly, who holds a Master of Arts in Teaching – TESOL (Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages) began volunteering at the Center for Adult Learning two years ago. After sharing her knowledge and expertise with ESOL students, and assisting with volunteer training and mentoring new students, she was hired as a part-time CAT teacher for ESOL classes. Thanks for the volunteer efforts, and welcome as a new staff member!

John MacRae – Outstanding Veteran Volunteer (Southeast Regional Library)
Talk about dedication! Mr. MacRae began volunteering since October 2005 and over the years has donated more than 4,000 hours of service to the library. He volunteers three to four times a week, and staff knows he’s at the library when they spot his hat and sunglasses on the top of a cubicle. Our hat’s off to Mr. MacRae for a volunteer job well done!

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Sylvia Wren, Outstanding Friend of the Jacksonville Public Library Volunteer, is flanked by BOLT members Ronnie King, Dr. Brenda Simmons-Hutchins (left) and BOLT Chair Erin Skinner (right).

Sylvia Wren – Outstanding Friend of the Jacksonville Public Library Volunteer (FJPL/volunteer UPK)
Sylvia has been a member of the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library for six years, and now serving as FJPL’s president, she was honored for her excellent leadership role. She attends many library programs to assist in supporting by greeting and promoting FJPL. She also volunteers as an active sorter of nonfiction books in the warehouse at UPK. JPL is grateful for all you do!

Special thanks were given to all of the library’s Friends groups, and to AARP volunteers who helped with intake for the 50+ Program. To wrap up the program, Skinner thanked the library’s volunteer coordinators and invited everyone to enjoy refreshments.volunteer cake edit

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering at any of the 21 library locations, please contact Nicole Burton at for information.



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