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2018 Friends Volunteer Appreciation Day

Saturday, November third, the Friends Board celebrated another year of service to the Rancho Bernardo Library by recognizing its volunteers. About 80 Friends members volunteer their time to make the Friends succeed. The majority work in one part or another of the process of collecting, sorting, valuing, and selling used books, in operating our Bookshop and Lending Library inside the Library, or putting on concerts and other events. 35 of our volunteers were able to join Board Members, most of whom are also volunteers in other capacities, for a morning of socializing, good eats, and comments by Varsha Mathew, of the Rancho Bernardo Teen Council. Friends Volunteer Lapel PinAt the end of the morning, Friends President, Judy Levine presented all the volunteers with lapel pins in recognition of their efforts. Varsha’s enthusiastic remarks follow:

“Good morning everybody. My name is Varsha Mathew, and I am a senior at Rancho Bernardo High School who aspires to attend a four-year university in California. As my high school years are coming to an end, I have often thought about what has stood out to me in these past four years. From all of the sports teams, music groups, and clubs that are a part of my high school memories, my time spent volunteering at this library stands out to me. Every year, month, week, and day, teen volunteers are present at the RB library.

“They do everything from shelving books and cleaning toys to organizing big events, such as the annual Summer Reading Program. During the summer of 2018, we had over 70 volunteering teens help sign up patrons for the Summer Reading Program and distribute prizes for finishers of the program. As a result of these massive efforts, the RB branch came in third out of all thirty-six branches for having the most number of participants, as we boasted 1,458 participants. But, our branch’s successes didn’t end here. With 707 finishers, we also came in third place out of all of San Diego’s branches for the total number of participants who completed the program.

“The same summer, on August 11th, the RB branch’s Teen Council hosted the library’s second annual Comic Book Superhero Bash, which provided 75 youngsters with fun superhero-themed games and events such as slime and DIY-superhero shields that embraced the globally-known San Diego Comic Con, an event that we all know has been a part of San Diego’s history and culture for years on end. There are many, many volunteers here that help our library serve such a large number of patrons with such a friendly, warm environment that seems to be special to RB. It can be agreed that all of these volunteers are very different; with different ages, schools, and personalities.

“But there is one thing that every volunteer at this library shares in common: a desire to give back to the community that has given so much to them— Rancho Bernardo. Being a teen volunteer myself, I believe this perfectly sums up what I think volunteering at this library has meant to me, and explains why it is one of my most memorable experiences from high school. Volunteering at the library has been an outlet for me to express my gratitude to the community that I’ve grown up in. I would also like to express my gratitude to every volunteer at this library. From every shelved book to answered question, you have truly made this community a better place. So, thank you volunteers— we appreciate you! Thank you everybody.”

In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.br/> Mortimer J. Adler, philosopher, educator, and author (1902-2001)