Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Worthington Libraries depends on its dedicated volunteers whether they are searching for missing books, registering children for the summer reading club, repairing DVDs and CDs or suiting up as costumed characters.
The Sheila E. Vetter Volunteer Award, presented for the past 14 years, thanks volunteers for their exceptional work. Established by Sheila's family after her sudden death in 2000, the award honors an outstanding teen and adult volunteer, each of whom receives a cash prize and his or her name engraved on a plaque displayed in the lobby of Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road, where Sheila worked.
This year, Teja Parasa is the volunteen award recipient and Jae Bull is the adult volunteer recipient. Both were selected by Sheila's family from among library staff nominations.
Since he started volunteering at Northwest Library early last year, Parasa has assisted in every department. He's shelved books for the circulation department, worked on craft projects for the children's department and even distributed library literature in the neighborhoods surrounding the library.
In nominating him, lead librarian Ann Pechacek wrote, "Teja is a model of good conduct and responsibility: conscientious, friendly, very intelligent and highly competent."
Youth Services librarian Ellie Kirchner, who also nominated Parasa, praised his "can-do" attitude. "Teja isn't afraid to ask questions and is completely okay jumping into tasks he's never done before. And he's always delightful to work with!"
Despite working a full-time job, Bull makes time to help out at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., where she can often be found in the technical services department. Her work resurfacing DVDs, audiobooks and music CDs means the library doesn't have to purchase brand-new discs when they are scratched or damaged.
"Due to (Jae's) efforts," said nominator Anne Reilly, technical services manager, "we have never been as caught up with our A/V repairs as we are now... I am always amazed at how much work she gets through in a short period of time!"
Bull also indexes local newspapers as part of the Worthington News Index project.
For more information about volunteering at the library, call 614-807-2626 or go to worthingtonlibraries.org/about/getinvolved/volunteer.
Hillary Kline is communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.