Yesterday UDPL held our annual volunteer luncheon. This event allows UDPL to acknowledge and honor all of the hard work of our volunteer force. In 2017, volunteers gave 4281 hours of their skills, talents, and time to the library. Without their hard work, UDPL would not be able to provide the services, programs, and events that make us a vibrant and successful library. Yesterday’s luncheon was attended by Representative Todd Stephens, members of staff from the offices of both Representative Thomas Murt and Representative Madeleine Dean, Upper Dublin Commissioner Gary Scarpello, township manager, Paul Leonard, members of the library board, members of the Friends of UDPL, UDPL staff, and volunteers. And although all of our volunteers are to be commended for their hard work and contributions, we did honor seven special volunteers for going above and beyond.
Kathi Maring and Laurie Crittenden were 2018’s Adult Volunteers of the Year.
Kathi is former school librarian who has been sharing her wealth of library knowledge with the Upper Dublin Library staff and patrons for nearly 20 years. Over those years, her contributions to both the Reference and Technical Services departments have been significant, both as a part-time librarian and as a volunteer, two hats she regularly juggled. A real master of the Dewey Decimal System, in 2001, she kept the Technical Services department running smoothly for 4 months when there was no department head. Later, she also brought the entire branch library collections in North Hills into the new, at the time, online catalog. She was also a mentor to us reference librarians, teaching us much about reference services and library resources. She retired from her part-time reference position here in 2007 when (to quote) “her travel schedule got in the way of her job”. Her dedication to the Upper Dublin Library, however, ensured her continued commitment as a volunteer in the Technical Services Department. She continued to volunteer at the UDPL for over the last 10 years, regularly coming in on Tuesday afternoons to catalog books and have a spot of tea and conversation with the Tuesday ladies. Her smile is infectious and there’s no one who can deliver a punchline better.
Laurie is the driving force behind our very popular Girls Who Code program. The young women who participate in the program are all in grades 6-10. They meet weekly to work on projects including writing HTML to create websites, designing virtual worlds that can be explored using VR goggles, building robots using LEGO’s EV3 technology, soldering, 3D printing, and, of course, building their own fidget spinners. The program’s success is all thanks to the hard work and dedication of Laurie Crittenden. She strives to provide the girls with enriching activities that build their knowledge base as well as their character. Laurie wants them to grow as students and as individuals. She has also gone out of her way to provide the students with with exposure to STEM careers and strong female role models in STEM fields. This includes a lasting relationship with Beverely Bass, America’s first female commercial airline pilot whose experiences inspired the off-Broadway musical Come from Away. Not only does Captain Bass proudly wear a Upper Dublin Girls Who Code t-shirt, she also arranged a backstage visit for the girls to meet the actors in Come from Away when they went to see the production this past March.
Our Teen Volunteers of the Year for 2018 are Angelina Han, Tori Hoffner, Jeffrey Fishman, Naomi Gewirtzman, and Ashley Kunkel, all UDHS seniors who have been volunteering as a group since they were in middle school. They are integral to all programs that rely on teen volunteers. Reading Buddies, Kids’ STEAM, Saturday STEAM, our Summer Internship Program, Science in the Summer, our partnership with the Thomas Fitz and Jarrettown Elementary science fairs, and more have been successful thanks in no small part to their involvement. They have been instrumental in the increased number of programs we’ve been able to offer for elementary aged students. We wouldn’t have been able to host these programs without their leadership.
Please join us in congratulating these fantastic volunteers! If you are interested in becoming a library volunteer or a joining the Friends of UDPL, please visit https://upperdublinlibrary.org/volunteer/ for more information!