Quoth the Raven: Volunteer!

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By Lisa R. Kenyon, Guest Blogger

On Wednesday, May 15, Enoch Pratt Free Library volunteers and staff gathered at the 1840's Ballroom for our annual volunteer luncheon. The Pratt Library has many types of volunteers, including individual volunteers, members of the Volunteer Corps, our branch Friends groups, and college students doing work/study. These volunteers help with programs, do administrative work, help in our computer centers, and shelve our books. The Volunteer Luncheon is a special way that we recognize and celebrate the achievements of our volunteers.

In the past year, our volunteers served 8542 hours. This number of hours is equal to the time worked by 4.5 full time staff members. The value of a volunteer hour in Maryland is currently set at $23.05, so the value of the work done by volunteers at EPFL over the past year is equal to $196,893 (and 10 cents).

The theme of the Volunteer Luncheon this year was "Quoth the Raven," and decorations and the program reflected a "darkly Victorian" theme in keeping with the 1840's Ballroom style. Guests gathered at 11:00am for a reception hour so that volunteers from all branches and departments could meet and enjoy some tasty snacks.

At noon the guests were invited upstairs to the ballroom for the program. Volunteer coordinator Pamela Potter-Hennessey welcomed the guests thanked all the volunteers for their service. This year’s guest speaker was local actor and Edgar Allan Poe impersonator Tony Tsendeas, who recited a new version of Poe's famous poem "The Raven." I wrote this whimsical poem, titled "Quoth the Raven", using the format of Poe's famous poem to celebrate the idea of volunteering at the library.

After the performance the volunteers chosen to receive awards this year were announced

  • Pamela Johnson was awarded the branch volunteer award for her wonderful work at the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch.
  • The Central volunteer award was presented to Jeanne Marsh who has been working on the Poe Room project for Special Collections.
  • The intern/student award went to Katelynn Kammann who is a TESST College student who has been working with the Information Services Department.

The Volunteer Services Office also recognizes staff members who support the volunteers and/or the volunteer program, and the Staff Award for this year was presented to Ryan O’Grady and David Tirschman for the support they provide each year for the volunteer luncheon. An award was also presented to former Volunteer Coordinator Lisa R. Kenyon for her work in reviving the volunteer luncheon and her ongoing support of the volunteer program.

Senator Paul Sarbanes spoke on behalf of the EPFL Board of Directors and thanked all the volunteers for their hard work and support of the library. The program finished with a humorous PowerPoint program that included the volunteer statistics from the past year. After the program the guests enjoyed the buffet luncheon and yummy desserts.

Watch the presentation from the luncheon on YouTube:

Are you interested in volunteering at the library? Contact your local branch or the Volunteer Services Office at 410-396-9940 or vso@prattlibrary.org.

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