The Volunteer Voice - News for all HCL volunteers & staff

December 2013

  I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .
    • Director's Column
    • Spotlights
    • News
    • Updates from Volunteer Services

Director's Column
Lois Langer Thompson Thank You for Your Contributions

This year, more than 1,400 Library volunteers, including you, contributed an estimated 85,000 hours of service. Thank you! Your time, skills and support helped Hennepin County Library fulfill our mission to nourish minds, transform lives and build community together.

With your help, the Library is on track this year to have 5.6 million visits to our 41 library locations, 15.8 million items checked out, 2.4 million computer sessions logged, 19.5 million visits to our website, and 1.1 million downloads of books, music and movies. By year's end, about 210,000 adults, teens and children will have attended library-sponsored programs and classes.

Whether you work behind the scenes or with patrons directly, what you do makes a difference. I look forward to continuing our work together in 2014, as the Library adds open hours and works to offer even greater access to Library resources.

Lois Langer Thompson
Library Director

HCL Adds Hours in 2014: Transitioning Together

As of Jan. 5, 2014, Hennepin County Library (HCL) is adding 249 open hours per week across its 41-library system. In total, the Library will be open more than 2,000 hours each week to serve patrons.

Where do you fit in? You are an important part of our library service team. Right now, Library staff are concentrating on finalizing staff schedules to ensure a smooth transition to new library hours in January.

Your supervisor is your connection to your library work. He or she will provide you with information about hours changes at your library. If you currently work a specific day and time, you will continue that schedule until your supervisor notifies you of any changes. You will be part of any discussions about your schedule.

More information on upcoming library hours changes:

Hennepin County Library to Add Hours Effective January 5 (News Release)
New Library Hours (Full 2014 Schedule)

Attend a Library Event This Winter

Free library events for adults this winter include book clubs, arts and crafts, author talks, and more.

Guthrie Theater teaching artists will present "Act Out for Adults," interactive theater classes covering musical theater, the history of theater and costume design, at Eden Prairie, Minneapolis Central, Plymouth and Ridgedale libraries this winter. The musical theater program was a hit with library patrons who attended last year:
  • "This was fantastic! Our instructor was energetic, fun, knowledgeable and engaging. She walked us through an activity that was accessible to people of all comfort levels (and showed equal respect to all). I was quite impressed!"
  • "I will attend again. Please have more workshops like these. Thank you!"
Browse and register for these events and others online at or pick up a copy the Library Events guide at your library.

Library Staff Say "Thank You"

We hope this year of volunteering with HCL has been rewarding. Your contributions have meant the world to staff in 2013.

  • Jeanne Stevens, At-Home Service Librarian: "Patrons have told me, 'I love the At-Home Service. With the books my volunteer brings me, I am not alone,' and 'My volunteer is a lifesaver to me. I love to read a good book.' We couldn't deliver the library to their door without the help of over 100 volunteers!"
  • Teresa Kachelmeier, Support Services, Southdale Library: "With volunteers, our daily library service to patrons (customer service, shelving, filing reserves, checking in materials from other libraries, etc.) flows smoothly."
  • Nancy Thornbury, Literacy Coordinator, Franklin Learning Center (FLC) at Franklin Library: "The volunteers at the FLC really make the wheels turn. Everyone brings their unique skill set and shares it with our learners. Watching the volunteers work together and learn from each other is very rewarding for the FLC staff."
  • Penny Johnson, Youth Services Librarian, Minnetonka Library: "Working with Minnetonka Library teen volunteers is a joy because their energy is infectious. Teens volunteer because they love the library, and they are so generous with their time and talents."
  • Peggy Bauer, Senior Librarian, Excelsior Library: "Excelsior Library volunteers complete tasks that allow patrons to more quickly access materials, and their cheerful camaraderie brightens the work day for the staff, who are privileged to work with them."

GED Goes Online in 2014

In January 2014, a new version of the GED test will be released. The test will only be available on computers at certified testing centers.

If you work as a computer tutor or an Adult Homework Help tutor, you might get questions about the new online test. All questions should be referred to library staff.

Study guides for the GED 2014 have been ordered and will be in libraries by January. HCL's Adult Learning page ( contains resources for GED students.

Updates from Volunteer Services
New Online Volunteer Orientation

Our application process is improving! The in-person volunteer orientation session all volunteers were required to attend has been replaced by a new online volunteer orientation. The new online orientation makes the application process more efficient and convenient, since the orientation is available to interested volunteers at anytime from anywhere.

If you know someone who is interested in becoming a Library volunteer in 2014, please send them to to get started. Once they submit the online volunteer application, they will receive a link to the new online orientation from the Volunteer Services office. (The orientation is not otherwise available.) The application process includes the online orientation and an interview.

Omnitheater Tickets
Library volunteers who have worked hours can receive up to two free tickets to the Science Museum's Omnitheater as well as free admission to the museum. Shows are at 6 p.m.; pick up tickets by 5:45 p.m. Movie showings are subject to change without notice. More info. Next opportunity:

Blue Planet
Thursday, Jan. 30
RSVP by Tuesday, Jan. 21
Call 612-543-8636 for reservations

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Current and ongoing volunteer openings are listed on the HCL website and provide the criteria needed by volunteers: skills, locations and training. Volunteer openings focus on working with library materials, children, teens, language-learners, seniors, and technology. You can also call 612-543-8633 for more information.
If you have a comment on this issue, news to share, or an idea for a volunteer, staff or library profile, please email
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December 2013
© Hennepin County Library
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