National Volunteer Week with photos of two volunteers.

This week, we’re celebrating the volunteers that support the Library’s mission, lending their time and talent to make a difference in our community! Dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers are essential to the success of the Library!


Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners (VITAL): Mary DePew, Volunteer

According to a recent survey of adult skills, 1 in 6 Americans struggles with basic literacy skills. Locally, 1 in 10 Monroe County residents speaks a language other than English at home. VITAL provides a safe and respectful learning environment for adults who want to improve their reading, writing, math, or English-language skills. VITAL’s volunteer tutors help adults in our community attain greater life success through literacy!

Since 2011 Mary DePew has been a regular fixture at VITAL, at times leading conversation groups, art groups, book clubs, and special events. As a seasoned teacher, she welcomes new learners of all levels and acts as a mentor to new volunteers. She has also encouraged new adult readers to assist as volunteer teachers in her class, providing opportunities for leadership, community, and cultural exchange. Mary’s “class” extends beyond the walls of the Library. She also engages with her learners on Facebook, takes them on field trips in the community, and encourages them to try new experiences.

“VITAL volunteers like Mary are the heartbeat of our adult literacy services,” said Bethany Turrentine, VITAL Coordinator. “They are steady, patient, and friendly supporters who encourage and motivate adult learners to keep going, one step at a time.”

In 2021, 138 learners received 2,911 hours of free educational services, provided by 65 VITAL trained tutors. Despite the innumerable obstacles presented by COVID-19, dedicated VITAL tutors continued to meet with learners in-person and online to provide individualized tutoring and group interaction.

The many achievements made by VITAL learners during a year of uncertainty and obstacles are proof of the value of the VITAL program and its devoted team of volunteers!


Friends of the Library Bookstore: Casey Ulinski, Volunteer

The Friends of the Library foundation advocates for the Library and supports Library collections, services, programs, and staff development. The Friends of the Library Bookstore provides crucial funding to support this mission while standout volunteers, like Casey, keep it running!

Casey began volunteering at the bookstore in June of 2021. She assists with shelving, general organization, inspecting donations and assessing their condition, cashier duties, and other tasks as needed.

“Casey's volunteer service in the Bookstore exemplifies a profound commitment to making our Library the very best it can be, utilizing her gifts of time and talent to execute and move forward the mission of MCPL,” said Loraine Martin, Library Administrative and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator.


Volunteering at the Library

We are grateful to the many volunteers who share their skills with us! In addition to VITAL and the Friends of the Library, volunteer opportunities include the children’s and teen spaces, assisting with special events, collection maintenance, and much more.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Library!