Many Santa Monica events you’ve probably been to are sponsored by a volunteer group and now, with event season coming up, they’re asking for some help recruiting volunteers.

Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library is a volunteer-run 501 3(c) non-profit that raises funds and advocates on behalf of the Santa Monica Public Library System. This year, Friends hopes to raise about $100k to fund many programs throughout the year, including Santa Monica Reads, the Summer Reading Program, SMPL at the Beach, Soundwaves concerts, author talks, movie screenings and branch programming such as literacy improvement for kids.

Rachel Ginnerty, Board President of Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library, said the non-profit has roughly 50 volunteers at the moment and would like to increase that amount to at least 60 people by the time the library events get in full swing.

Volunteers, Ginnerty says, consist of all age ranges and interests, from young and elderly and from bookworms to people just looking to lend a helping hand.

“We’re a community of library lovers basically managing a bookstore,” Ginnerty said with a laugh. “Volunteers here talk to customers, sort donated books, put together book shows and book sales, too.”

Ginnerty said prospective volunteers can expect to work one or two two-and-a-half hour shifts on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Volunteers will be slotted where appropriate. For example, less social volunteers can sort books and research book values while more outgoing volunteers can work the floor and talk to library goers.

No matter where volunteers may end up, Ginnerty said they’ll see the fruits of their labor culminate in the libraries’ programming.

“We try to do the fun stuff, the programs based on literacy from childhood to adulthood as well as create an opportunity to give someone a joy of reading and bringing them together with arts and culture. Our volunteers will help aid that. Our non-profit is made up only of volunteers. We wouldn’t be around if there weren’t people willing to help.”

Ginnerty urges those interested in joining the Friends as a Bookstore volunteer to reach out to a volunteer coordinator at The Bookstore is located in the North Courtyard of the Main Library. Its hours are  Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sunday 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 pm.


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