Friends of Libraries Week: How to Volunteer

It’s National Friends of Libraries Week!

From October 21-27, people around the nation are celebrating the Friends who help libraries to raise funds, acquire new collection items, and offer a wide array of community programs.

Volunteers with many kinds of talents can help us in our mission. Volunteers provide system-wide support for branches, the Bookstore and basement book sales, the Arkansas Literary Festival, the Galleries at Library Square, CALS Ron Robinson Theater, and other outreach efforts. Our Friends’ activities also generate funds that are used to supplement programming at all CALS branches.

If you would like to become a Friend of the Library, check out our information about our Friends program (FOCAL).

You can find our Friends Volunteer Application here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Richard Price, Crafter of Airplanes and Dulcimers 

What book is on your nightstand right now?

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells…again!

Where did you grow up?

I lived with my dad’s family half the time in Little Rock, during the school year, but during the summer I lived with my mom’s family in Searcy to help on the farm. I mostly repaired equipment for them, once they figured out I could do it! I would prepare meals and was driving at the age of 9. I would drive the meals out to the workers, who were working on hay, cotton, and peanuts. After a year at Arkansas State and then Teachers’ College in Conway, I was drafted into the Army. And by cross-training with the Air Force, I ended up as an Air Force jet mechanic.

How did you end up volunteering as a Friend of the Library?

I used to work for Dassault Falcon Jet. When they moved to Texas in 2010, I took retirement. Around that time, I came down to one of the sales at the Bookstore with my wife and grandkids. The ladies there said they needed more volunteers, so I signed up. It has been 8 years now! I enjoy the other volunteers and the conversation. And giving the books another chance.

Which sections are your specialty for the book sale?

Reference, Tech, Textbooks, Education, Foreign Language

Where did you get your love of books and reading?

I’ve been a reader since high school. A high school teacher saw that I was struggling to get into the required reading, so she introduced me to Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells. And that did it!

What other hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?

I volunteer at the VA Hospital in woodworking. I learned woodworking when I was growing up, when I made dulcimers and other folk instruments with my granddad.