By Brittney Smith
Special to the Miner
Nancy Crowley, a retired mother of six and hospice caretaker, still finds time to help others by volunteering at the San Manuel Library.
Nancy, 59, lived in upstate New York and recently moved to Arizona for the warmth, as she had developed a love of the desert while visiting a son in the area. Nancy is a former midwife who delivered babies for several different communities for 20 years. In addition to volunteering at the library, Nancy is involved in hospice care for an ill friend.
After moving to the area in March, Nancy became a part of the staff, giving three hours of her time each week. She got involved visiting the library one morning, after she was asked if she’d like to volunteer. Her interest was piqued, as she said she loves reading. Nancy wanted to interact with people and children in the Tri-Community and thought the library deserved support.
“I think it’s really important to encourage children to read. I think the library is an important part of the Tri-Community,” said Nancy. She also feels it is important to develop people skills and learn how to field any questions library users may have. The biggest challenge Nancy faces as a volunteer has been learning to manage her duties with technology. She said it is difficult not being “as computer literate as younger people” and believes the youth can grasp computer skills more rapidly.
Nancy says her favorite part of volunteering is working with people and the library can see as many as 400 library users a week.
“Sometimes when you meet people, you may not know what’s going on in their life. Maybe if there could be some kindness on your part, or a sharing, or a giving, maybe you could make their day more pleasant. It might really impact them in a positive way for their day or who knows how long,” Nancy said.
Nancy is hard at work at the library, learning how to check in and out books, shelve material, and manage computer use. Other volunteer duties include handling requested material, utilizing copy and fax machines, book sales, creating user profiles for library cards, helping with library programming, and collecting fees.
The San Manuel Library is a volunteer-run organization and usually has nine to 13 volunteers. Volunteers work for two to three hours per week. The library has been in operation since 1965 and has always been staffed with volunteers. About 5,400 people come through its doors annually and the library offers a wide variety of services, such computer and internet use, faxing and copying capability, gaming, DVD rentals, summer programs, book club, and more.
To get involved at the San Manuel Library, an application may be filled out and submitted to the Library Director. The library is located at 108 W. Fifth Ave. For more information contact the library at 385-4470.