Monday, March 7, 2011

A day in the life of a library volunteer: Carol Lewis

I mentioned in an earlier blog that the Grems-Doolittle library is bolstered by the efforts of our many dedicated volunteers. Carol is one such volunteer. Very knowledgeable about both the history of Schenectady and the library collections, she is one of the best people to talk to when you are doing research in the library or just had an obscure question you need answered. Having always enjoyed history and having been brought up in a historical area, she always wanted to spend time at the Historical Society, but only found the time after retiring in 2000. By 2003 she was serving on the Historical Society Board as a trustee and is currently in her third term.
When I asked Carol what volunteer projects she enjoys working on the most, she explained that there are aspects of each project which she finds fun and interesting. One of Carol’s particular interests is the Erie Canal, a topic which is widely covered in the library’s collections. Besides researching the Canal, Carol is also involved in many ongoing projects with the library, including organizing the ever growing photograph collection. This often entails identifying buildings and people, and sometimes even photographers. Carol is also largely involved in the cataloguing of new books and other library materials as they come to us. She sits at her typewriter creating cards for our card catalogue, and inputting catalogue information into our digital database. Carol was one of the few volunteers involved in an inventory of the library conducted in 2009, a task I am sure she hopes never to have to repeat.

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