They’re dedicated, motivated, and, well, simply awesome. They’re our volunteers, and we literally couldn’t operate without them. Their wealth of talent touches everything from checking out materials, to shelving and repairing books, to helping patrons research their family tree…and more.

Today we’re kicking off a series of profiles to recognize and introduce you to these library rock stars and all-around cool people…starting with Ricki:

How long have you been volunteering at the library?
I moved to Emmaus two years ago and within a few months applied to become a volunteer, beginning in January 2017.

What do you do as a volunteer?
I work at the circulation desk assisting patrons and staff — checking materials in and out, registering new patrons for library cards, answering questions, and anything else I can help with.

What inspired you to volunteer with us? Did you always love libraries?
It is nearly impossible to explain the impact libraries have had in my life. Since my introduction as a young child to the amazing world of books, I’ve had a love affair with libraries. Schools afforded me the opportunity to become a library aide and absorb any information the librarian was willing to share about her day-to-day responsibilities.

As an adult and a mother, libraries remained a focal point of life. When ‘Friends of the Library’ groups began to organize, I saw a way of giving back and became an active member in my former community (Selinsgrove). My dedication and commitment to libraries remain a vital part of my life.

Tell us about your background.
Professionally, my work life was very varied. Using my degree in Health Education and a major interest in Special Education prompted a lot of work experiences. These included 12 years of teaching at all levels, from preschool through college (at Susquehanna University), and coaching swimming and girls’ basketball.

My family then moved to Vineland (NJ), where my husband and I were administrators at American Institute of Mental Studies, responsible for the Residential and Recreation components.

Later on, through my involvement in social services with healthcare facilities and community agencies, I taught ‘adulting’ and GED in county prisons for more than 20 years. One of the things I shared with my students was my love of reading, and I sometimes visited the library two or three times a week to fill their book requests on a wide array of subjects. As one can guess, my memory bank is full of stories and experiences from my professional life.

What are your hobbies or interests?
Reading is and always has been an ongoing interest. I also thoroughly enjoy spending time in the kitchen, creating meals and treats for family and friends…so much so that a partner and I had a catering business for a decade. I also look forward to the gardening season.

Helping others is important to me and I am able to fulfill that through participation in mission trips and local organizations (Kiwanis), particularly working with young people. Being active and involved is my philosophy of life, dedicating my abilities to service.

Do you have a favorite book, author or genre?
I would classify my favorite genre as mystery; however, I enjoy variety–from historical fiction to sports–and would name The Shell Seekers (Rosamunde Pilcher) and Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach) as two of my favorite books.


Are you interested in lending your talents to the library and volunteering alongside great people like Ricki? Stop in and ask for a Volunteer Interest form at the desk!

[Disclaimer: the views, information or opinions expressed in ‘Meet Our Volunteers’ interviews are solely those of the volunteers and do not necessarily represent those of the library or its employees.]