“Library lady” finds volunteering rewarding

By Kristen Tribe | Published Thursday, April 24, 2010

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LueElla Jones was first swept away by a good story in third grade.

Her teacher, Jean Smith, a longtime educator in the Alvord school district, loved reading to her class. Jones recalled hearing the adventures of The Bobbsey Twins and The Boxcar Children.

“She started an interest in reading in the fact that books and stories were out there,” Jones said. “She encouraged everyone to read, more by actions than words.”

And today, Jones is doing the same.

She started volunteering at the Alvord Library in 1995, and by 1998 she was involved with the library board. For the last 10 years, she’s been board president and has concentrated on maintaining and expanding the library’s collection and has focused on how it can best serve the community.

She said the library has 300 to 400 users per month who check out books and DVDs and use the computers.

One of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering, according to Jones, is when a child recognizes her elsewhere. “Look, Mommy. There’s the library lady,” is something she’s heard before.

“It’s good to be known in that way,” said Jones. “It’s also nice to know you’re helping the community. Even though it may not seem like it, you’re helping it grow and move forward.

“I wish everyone would (volunteer) at least for six months to find out what it’s like to give yourself for something else. Most people don’t because it interrupts your life, but eventually it becomes part of your life.”

Jones said almost every library in the nation could use more volunteers. Here are the needs in Wise County:

  • Alvord – Volunteers to help with day-to-day operation of the library. Volunteers will work the front desk, assist patrons and check out materials. Call Randy Dunaway at (940) 427-7253 for information.
  • Bridgeport – Volunteers to help with day-to-day operation and to help with the summer reading program that runs from mid-June through July. Call Peggy Horne, volunteer coordinator, at (940) 683-3450 for information.
  • Chico – Volunteers to help with day-to-day operation of the library. Call Karen Hornsby at (940) 644-2330 for information.
  • Library events

  • Wednesdays – 11 a.m., Story time, 3 to 5 years
  • Decatur

  • Wednesdays – 10 a.m., Story time; 11 a.m., Toddler Time with “stay and play,” 18 months to 3 years
  • Thursdays – 10 a.m., Mother Goose Time with “stay and play,” 4 to 18 months
  • May 13 – 11:15 a.m., Book club, “Olive Kitteredge,” by Elizabeth Strout
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