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Fall Volunteer Opportunities

August 31st, 2015

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The fall is my favorite season. I love that the days are still warm but the nights are crisp! I also enjoy the exciting volunteer opportunities.

You may have heard about the Second Annual How-To Festival and Block Party taking place Saturday, September 12 from 10am – 3pm. Last year, 300 people joined us for short, FREE sessions learning everything from how to tie a bow tie, Mongolian throat singing, how to write a press release and how to give an elevator speech and everything in between! Classes were taught by library staff members, local business owners and professionals in their field.

This year, we are kicking it up a notch. Thanks to the generous support of the Unitarian Universalist Church and the Town of Brunswick, we are able to close Middle Street and host events in both Curtis Memorial Library as well as the church. Our lawns will be covered in food providers, bouncy castles and bands. We are striving to make this a fun, community block party with a side of financial information to celebrate the start of our year long, community wide financial literacy programming!

That is where volunteers come in! We need 25 people to help us run the day. From helping to guide Slugger the Portland Sea Dogs mascot to supervising children’s crafts such as painting piggy banks, we need your help! Click here to sign up!

Mark your calendars for this time honored volunteer event – The Curtis Friends Outdoor Clean Up! Volunteers will spend a (hopefully) crisp fall morning with Building Supervisor Melissa Hall weeding, raking and laying down mulch to help put the gardens to bed for the winter. The Clean Up takes place Saturday, November 7 from 9am – 12pm with lunch generously provided by the Curtis Friends afterwards. Click here to sign up!

We’re using VolunteerSpot (the leading online Sign-up and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming Sign-ups.

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click either link above.
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

Save the Dates!

August 10th, 2015

There are a lot of volunteer opportunities to look forward to in the coming months, so mark your calendars now and look forward to the sign ups closer to the events.

  • The Mystery Writer’s Series: Volunteers will assist organizers in setting up the chairs and refreshments in advance of the speaker and then assist in taking down the chairs/tables following the talk. The dates we still need volunteers are September 8, September 22 and October 6.
  • The How-To Festival and Block Party: Volunteers are needed to help greet and direct guests, man stations such as the piggy bank painting table, hand out food samples, dress as Baxter the Library Cat and serve as seeing-eye volunteers for Baxter as well as Slugger! Saturday, September 12.
  • The Curtis Friends Outdoor Clean-Up: A treasured event on the volunteer calendar, join fellow volunteers, staff and Curtis Friends to put the Curtis gardens to bed for the winter. Volunteers will feed, rake and mulch the gardens. Then stay for a great lunch provided by the Curtis Friends. Saturday, November 7.

Keep an eye out for the online sign ups and more specifics in the coming weeks.

Together in service! Jessica

Children’s Services Opportunities!

July 13th, 2015

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Summer is an exciting time around here. Summer reading for adults and children is underway. I, for one, am really enjoying my armchair traveling. If you haven’t picked one up yet, there are passports and reading lists available for adults and a challenge for the little ones as well. Grab some new books and find a shady place to get lost in the pages!

One of the awesome parts of my jobs is finding volunteers for special events put on by the library staff. Our librarians spend a lot of time developing and hosting programs throughout the library. They truly make this place great. Sometimes they need an extra set of hands to help out. That is where we come in!

This summer, Children’s Services is hosting crating and lego events each week for our youngest members. Volunteers 13 years or older are needed to help with table and chairs setup/take down, setting up/prepping materials, assisting younger kids with the craft or lego project.

Volunteers are needed on the following dates:

Thursday, July 16, 10-11:30

Monday, July 20, 2-3:30

Thursday, July 30, 10-11:30

Monday, August 3, 2-3:30

Saturday, August 8, 10:30-12

Tuesday, August 11, 10-11:30

Monday, August 17, 2-3:30

We’re using VolunteerSpot (the leading online Sign-up and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming Sign-ups.

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/n1gsSg 
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

Why not get out and play in the name of volunteering!

Thank you!

June 30th, 2015

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Being surrounded by books all day, you would think that I could find the words to adequately thank everyone who helped make the 2015 Curtis Friends Book Sale a success. But alas, words escape me.

Hundreds of people gave up hours of their time to bake treats, lug boxes, organize books, assist shoppers and clean up after it was all over! When all was said and done, our volunteers moved nearly 3000 boxes of 70,000 books. Visitors from as far away as North Carolina devoured what we offered and on Sunday when the doors closed, we only had 13,117 books left over.

Thank you to the volunteers who baked / bought / brought food to keep the volunteer machine running. This was an invaluable service! I sampled all the offerings and can easily say we have some very talented cooks among us!

Thank you to Wicked Joes as well as Building Supervisor Melissa Hall and her daughter, Development Associate Joyce Schmitt and her daughter and Executive Director Elisabeth Doucett who came on Friday to got us all going with the debut of 23 Pleasant, the new Curtis blend of coffee. We all needed the extra caffeine to help the thousands of visitors that streamed through our doors.

While the numbers are official yet, this book sale grossed the second highest revenue of any sale to date! That is amazing. 100% of the net proceeds come back to support Curtis Memorial Library through programming, additions to the collection, staff development and other extremely important endeavors, all to benefit our community.

We could not have reached this milestone without each on of our volunteers! You make me proud to come to work each day and happy to be involved in such an amazing event!

Summer Volunteer Opportunities

June 11th, 2015

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I believe summer is a fabulous time to be a volunteer here at Curtis because there is so much going on and there are so many opportunities to choose from. I am writing about three such fun and different ways to get involved.

First, is the 2015 Curtis Friends Booksale. I have taken to calling this the jewel in our volunteer crown because people step up like I have never seen before. Spots are available to help set up beginning Sunday, June 21 and continue through the sale and clean up Sunday, June 28. Click here to sign up!

The next opportunity will appeal to those among us with a green thumb! Building supervisor, Melissa Hall and I are organizing gardening opportunities that will allow individuals to sign up to tend to a garden AREA on a single occasion or weekly! You sign up for a zone for a week.

Don’t be deceived that the sign up says it is on a Monday, gardening can take place any time during the week in the area you select. For more information on this initiative and to sign up, click here!

Finally, our latest addition to the calendar is a great opportunities for teens home for the summer. Children’s Services needs help crafting and at LEGO club each week over the summer. Tasks may include helping to set up, prepping materials and assisting younger kids. Volunteers ages 13 or older are welcome to sign up! Click here to sign up!

We’re using VolunteerSpot (the leading online Sign-up and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming Sign-ups.

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click on the link(s) above.

2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.

3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually. You will even get a handy sign up confirmation and a reminder 48 hours before your shift!

Do you have a green thumb?

June 8th, 2015

Garden map with areas

Then we need you!

Building Supervisor Melissa Hall and I are undertaking to make the Curtis Memorial Library gardens more interactive for volunteers. We are testing a system that will allow individuals to sign up to tend to an area on a single occasion or weekly! You choose!

  • Area 1: Area 1 is located primarily at the west entrance and requires volunteer(s) to weed the Double File Viburnum, Day Lilies, Hostas as well as pulling any pesky weeds along the west wall drip line.
  • Area 2: Area 2 is located at the north west corner of the building, on Pleasant Street. This includes tending to the Double File Viburnum, Arborvitae, dwarf lilies, spirea and hornbeam. Additionally, checking the Pleasant Street side of the building drip line for weeds.
  • Area 3: Area 3 is located adjacent to the main entrance and includes the Siberian irises, periwinkles and hosta lilies around the bird bath. Additionally, this area includes the yellowood, day lilies, forsythia and hornbeam on the north east corner of the building.
  • Area 4: Area 4 is located to the left of the main entrance and includes magnolias, rhododendrons, day lilies, periwinkles and catawba. This area also includes the junipers in the half circle in the parking area as well as the junipers, daylilies and European beech on the Pleasant Street / Union Street corner.
  • Area 5: Area five is responsible for weeding the butterfly garden and maintaining the plants in there to ensure happy healthy butterflies! Identify and do NOT weed MILKWEED. Try to get rid of grass near creeping time to encourage spread to walkway. Any changes in this garden need to be brought to Melissa Hall’s attention – she will check with Youth Services.
  • Area 6: Area 6 is located along the south walkway adjacent to the Morrell Meeting Room. Here you will find the viburnum and witchazel. In addition, Area 6 contains the clematis, spirea and lilac at the walkway into the Union Street parking lot.
We’re using VolunteerSpot (the leading online Sign-up and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming Sign-ups.

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot: www.curtislibrary.com/garden (you will be redirected to the Volunteer Spot sign up.
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.
While the sign up says that the gardening takes place on Monday of each week, this was simply how it had to be set up. Our goal is to have each area tended to by a volunteer each week. When you do it is up to you. Simply sign up for an area of interest and come whenever your schedule (and mother nature) allows that week.
We ask that each time you volunteer, there are a few things we would like everyone to do, regardless of area! Eradicate Black Swallow Wart – it should be pulled from the roots and placed in black trash backs (which you can get from Melissa H or at circulation) and the black bags can be left at the service entrance (adjacent to the west entrance). Not sure what Black Swallow Wart looks like, let me know and I can provide you helpful documentation! And please check the front planters and water as needed – water spigots on Middle Street entrance and the Pleasant Street entrance – ask for the water key from circulation.
Please consider helping to make our gardens a destination!

A Year In Review!

June 1st, 2015

Well, I have reached a milestone. A year ago this week, I joined Curtis Memorial Library as the Volunteer Coordinator. I was filling some pretty big shoes in the formidable Pamela Bobker, who has graciously helped me along the way all the while stepping into her new role as a librarian. It has been quite a year with old staples and new opportunities.

We undertook the largest book sale in New England in 2014 and are set to exceed our benchmarks yet again this year. If you haven’t sign up, there is still time! Click here to be redirected to the VolunteerSpot sign up: www.curtislibrary.com/book-sale-sign-up/

Over 50 volunteers helped us move and label the Adult Non-Fiction Collection from a traditional Dewey Decimal System to the hybrid Neighborhood that empowers patrons to browse similar books and find interesting genres.

Volunteers have continually stepped up to help create crafts and displays for the Curtis Collaboratory.

We welcomed Bowdoin students, faculty and staff for Common Good and Staff Volunteer Days. They helped assemble chairs, move books, clean our building and move shelving units.

I have had a chance to learn and grow as a manager of volunteers by attending conferences and networking with local volunteer administrators. This has allowed me to learn from amazing organizations as well as stay up to date with other opportunities to build on my skill set.

We have welcomed new volunteers who have become amazing members of our community. New faces bring new energy and perspectives while supporting the familiar faces we have come to expect each day. Click here to apply online!

With the help of new Building Supervisor, Melissa Hall, we added a way for green thumbed volunteers to join us weekly to keep our gardens looking amazing. Do you want to be part of the Curtis Volunteer Gardening Collective? Click here to join the fun!

Curtis was awarded a sizeable grant from FINRA and ALA to support local programming about financial literacy. Together with Adult Services Manager, Sarah Brown, we will offering programming on how you can spend, earn, save and give mindfully. Look for opportunities to begin in September!

Finally, we celebrated our successes with another delicious Volunteer Appreciate Breakfast where we honored those among us who donated 50 hours or more of their time in the prior year. We displayed their book selections before they were added to the collection.

It has been a phenomenal year for me personally, the volunteer program and Curtis as a whole! Thank you for letting me be part of it and I cannot wait to see what our community does in the coming year.

Sign up for the Book Sale! Today!

May 20th, 2015

book sale photo

WOW! People sure LOVE the Curtis Friends Book Sale and are chomping at the bit to sign up. I was going to wait until next week to release the online sign up, but what better day than today!

We’re using VolunteerSpot (the leading online Sign-up and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming Sign-ups.

Here’s how it works in 4 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot: www.curtislibrary.com/book-sale-sign-up/ (this will redirect you to the VolunteerSpot website).

2) You will be asked to enter your email address. This is simply so the system can send automated email to confirm your spots as well as a reminder email before your shift.

3) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.

4) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

Additionally, we will begin calling past volunteers beginning June 1, so if you are uncomfortable with the electronic sign up and have volunteered in the past, you can expect a call!

Preview: Book Sale Volunteer Opportunities

May 13th, 2015

booksale-volunteersIt is that time of year again! The time I know many of you have been waiting for, I know I have! The Book Sale!! The calls have begun to pour in with people curious about volunteer opportunities and I wanted to take a minute to give you all a preview.

There are 378 volunteer slots over the course of the week. Here is a breakdown of the options:

  •  Sunday, June 21 – volunteers can assist the Curtis Friends load tables onto trucks;
  • Monday, June 22 – as soon as school is released at noon, volunteers at the Junior High will begin setting up the tables;
  • Tuesday, June 23 – volunteers will help move boxes of books from trucks into their designated sections in the junior high;
  • Wednesday, June 24 – the thousands of boxes of tens of thousands of books we moved on Tuesday now need to be unpacked;
  • Thursday, June 25 – the unpacking continues into Thursday, then a group of ingenious teens will count the books through a unique methods involving measuring sicks and math!
  • Friday, June 26 – Sunday, June 28 – volunteers will work as floor monitors, door guards and cashiers to help visitors to the sale have a great experience;
  • Sunday, June 28 – After the dust settles, we need volunteers to help us repack any unsold books destined for donation and then clean the junior high; finally,
  • Monday, June 29 – the final volunteers will help return the borrowed tables.

I am exhausted just typing all of that! That is why we need YOUR help! This year we will be using an online sign up to supplement our volunteer callers. Beginning Tuesday, May 26, I will post the online sign up link here as well as on Facebook and sent out via an email blast. On Monday, June 1, volunteer callers will begin calling people who have volunteered in the past but have not signed up through other means.

Mark your calendars and save the dates you want to volunteer! Volunteers make this sale happen!

Books in Honor Selections

April 29th, 2015

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Every year, the Curtis Friends honor volunteers who have given 50 hours of their time or more to the library in the prior calendar year. We ask each volunteer to choose a book or or genre and then ask the librarians to purchase that book to add to the Curtis collection in honor of the volunteer.

It shouldn’t surprise me what a varied list of books we added to our collection for our 37 2014 honorees! Take a look! The list of titles is below. If you are interested in the books, check them out in the New Book Room! For your convenience, I have shared the link, when available, to our catalog!

City Beasts: 14 stories  by Mark Kurlansky pt
Pagan Spring by GM Malliet and Murder on the Half Shell by Lorna Barrett
Eyewitness Pond & River
Retribution of Mara Dyer
3 vols Walkng Dead
Team Dog: How to Train Your Dog
Chessmen/Peter May
Coming Home
Jane Austen’s England
Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
Murder of Magpies / Judith Flanders
God in ruins by Kate Atkinson  – ordered, not in yet!
Fire and Ice: soot, solidarity…/jonathan mingle
Knowleledgeable Knitter – ordered, not in yet!
Murder in the Queen’s Wardrobe
Hell’s Angels : the true sory of the 303rd
If you plant a seed
Historical atlas of Maine – ordered, but not in yet!
Scandal in the secret city by diane fanning
Double fudge brownie murder
Singular Mission/Judith Campbell
Sometimes an Art
Gardener’s Garden
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Death of Caesar
Vision in Silver
Nourishing traditions cookbook – ordered but not in yet!
In these times: living in Britain thru Napoleon’s wars
Listening to Stone: The art and life of Isamu Nogochiby Hayden Herrera
Eleanor Marx
Pure Grit: How Am. WWII Nurses…
Apocalyptic planet
Cooking Class
Driving the King
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, due in July
An ambush of tigers