I started volunteering at Brooklyn Public Library in July of 2012. School was finished and by the first week of summer I was bored. So I went to the library, and there I saw it, the flyer to become a T4. As, a T4, I deal with the technology aspect of the library, but I never forget the people. As I say “People before Computers."
What do you like best about volunteering at BPL?
I've always loved going to the library, but it is different to be a volunteer. After I started volunteering, I began to feel like people in the library are family. I always feel included in the library community whether it is through being asked to help a patron, or participating in an event.
I also love helping patrons, because nothing beats the satisfaction of making someone's day a little bit easier. It is so nice when a patron thanks you for your time.
Another reason is the children, who get excited by finding a good book, or when they realize that the volunteer in front of them, plays or reads the same things as they do. The smile and aura from the children always makes me feel better.
What advice would you give other volunteers?
It is very important to find a part of volunteering that you love. It's not always easy to be a volunteer and it won't always be fun, but everyone should have something they look forward to doing. I would also suggest them to become a people person if they are not, because in the library, you are never alone. Finally, I've met so many amazing people at the library once I started talking to them, patrons and employees alike.
I also noticed that many patrons are impatient and to work with them you must be patient and calm, allowing their anger to get suppressed. I noticed that these patrons are the ones who always give many thanks in the end.
What is a typical day like for you as a T4?
A typical day as a T4 begins when I stand in front of the library. I love the feeling of not knowing what is happening on the other side of the doors. Whether it be, meeting new people, performing new activities, meeting great authors, attending events, or finding a book that you never noticed, I see the library as a place of surprises. My “typical” day is never the same, there always something different and that is what I love about it.
What is one of your favorite books?
I can never answer this question very well, because I read all kinds of books, and to choose one would possible cause me to think for a very long period of time. Now, my favorite book is The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer. This book is excellent and it made me fall in its spell by the first page. I highly praise the author, Meltzer.
Thank you, Shajed!
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Interested in volunteering with BPL? Find out more here: http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/support/volunteer/