The Tillsonburg branch of the Oxford County Library is holding an online Volunteer Information Session on Tuesday, March 16.
The meeting will be held using the Zoom platform at 7 p.m.
“We are recruiting volunteers – anyone 14 and up,” said Tillsonburg librarian Merley Wheaton. “There’s a number of opportunities that will be available at the library over time.”
Wheaton will share volunteer opportunities available now, as well as some that will be introduced at a later time.
“We are looking for someone to support our library programs – a virtual program assistant,” she said. “We have staff who are running programs virtually, but having a second person there who can manage some of the technical issues that come up would be really helpful.”
The library is also working toward the launch of a Reading Buddies program, which would see teen and adult volunteers matched one-on-one (virtually) with kids to practise their reading.
“We’ve learned a lot from other people who have already had experience running Reading Buddies and moving into virtual environments, so we’re kind of excited to be able to bring that to Tillsonburg,” said Wheaton.
“When I think about learning to read, I tend to think about it like other skills that children are learning. If they are learning to play soccer, then they have to learn the skills that go with that. When children are learning to read … some kids need a little extra help practicing those skills.”
The library is looking for volunteers who are excited to work with kids, and who will be able to ‘coach’ kids as they develop early reading skills.
“The more enjoyment that children find in reading, the more likely they are to keep at it and it opens doors to their own learning and growth.”
The Reading Buddies program will support parents who are trying to support their kids.
“Sometimes parents just need that little bit of extra help,” said Wheaton. “Sometimes it’s just helpful to have another person to reinforce what you are trying to achieve, and help you inspire your child.”
Another new program coming soon will encourage ‘Reading before Kindergarten,’ which should not only develop reading skills, but also develop parent-child relationships.
“It’s doing something together that has benefits well beyond just learning to read.”
Another program to be discussed on March 16 is home delivery.
“We are delivering materials to people who can’t get to the library, some of them in long term care facility situations, some of them are in their homes and just can’t get to the library for health or transportation reasons.”
The library does not currently need new Home Delivery volunteers, but Wheaton wants to let people know the program exists, and that at some point it might need more volunteers.
“We’re working toward a tech help program whereby volunteers would be available to answer limited questions about ‘How do I use my device to access this or that?’ It’s not about repairing devices, just about how to use and access things.”
A tech volunteer program is best done in-person, he said, so it remains a future possibility and not something they are actively recruiting for today.
Wheaton will also talk about the Friends of the Library, who support the library through various activities including fundraisers.
FREE TAX CLINIC
A free income tax clinic will run until the end of April at the library. Sessions are Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2 Library Lane, Tillsonburg (519-842-5571).
Run by volunteers, Wheaton said it’s the second year partnering with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program group.
You will need all current or previous year receipts, a completed drop off form (available at the library), and an envelope with your name and phone number.
The pick-up for completed and filed income forms will be the last two weeks of April.