Cheryl A. Peters
2009 Winner of the DCLS Dottie & Henry Swartz Volunteer Excellence Award
When one considers the DCLS mission to strengthen the community by promoting literacy and providing resources and services for information, education, and recreation, one can see that Cheryl A. Peters is a resource whose volunteer activities support the mission.
Cheryl patronized the uptown branch of the Dauphin County Library System (DCLS) because it was the closest to where she worked. After retirement her extensive reading (“I love Mysteries!”) made her decide it was “time to give back” and she began volunteering. That was about eleven years ago. “I have always been a reader. My mother would bring home books from the Library. I would finish one in a day. When I was old enough, I would ride the bus to town to visit the Library myself. It was there I was introduced to classical music – which was not available on the local radio stations.”
“I remember there was so little room uptown; I did whatever needed to be done. I helped organize Friends group activities, creating signage for book sales, still in use years later. When the manager took photographs during the construction of the new library on North Third Street, I pulled together a memory book and slide show that was used at the Grand Opening.”
“When we moved to our current space, the Madeline Olewine Memorial Library, items were ‘sort of put away’ in the workroom. So I made lists, organized and labeled all kinds of things to be more readily found. I have been able to devote my energies to many little things- I repainted the children’s table to expand its life and use, I constructed a (cardboard) Gingerbread House last year for the children’s area, and try to keep things organized in the closets, cupboards, and drawers, so materials are readily accessible. I’m pleased when staff says ‘we need this, Cheryl, will you do your thing?’ I recently created an employee recognition box. My ‘artistic creations’ are very much hobby based. The best part of volunteering at DCLS is that the staff is so appreciative of even the smallest things I do. I like that here. Unfortunately, I cannot shelve children’s books. You need to be able to get down low, and rummage around on your knees. But that’s kids level isn’t it?”
“The reward for me is that I get to see things completed. I enjoy being able to concentrate on certain projects from start to finish, whatever they need. And everyone (on staff) is so appreciative! They are thrilled with what I do – it is so nice to get that kind of feedback! My background is rather bureaucratic with the Dept of Welfare, business and finance. I am still self-employed. Recently I served on the ad hoc Volunteer Committee to help define the volunteer program and get the Friends of DCLS off the ground.”
“I feel humble to have been chosen. Although I know I do not put in anywhere near the number of hours that many DCLS volunteers contributeI try to spend as much time as I can at the Library. The DCLS staff tell me that what I do while I’m here is what matters.”
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