What’s it like to volunteer at the Library?

Last week Tea Tree Gully Library celebrated National Volunteer Week, and all of the good work they do. The Library simply could not function without the devotion and energy of our volunteers, who come from many different backgrounds and ages. One of our youngest volunteers is Sophie, who recently gave us some feedback on her experience helping with the Library’s Digital Hub. We would like to encourage anyone interested in volunteering at the Library, or another council-run facility, to visit the Volunteer Vacancies website

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you come to end up as a volunteer at the Tea Tree Gully Library?

Hi, I’m Sophie!  I spend my Tuesday afternoons volunteering at the Digital Hub in Tea Tree Gully library.  I’m originally from Canada but moved here from England where I lived for four years, after having lived in Upstate New York for 11 years!

While visiting the Tea Tree Gully website I saw an ad about volunteering at the Digital Hub, and after making a phone call, meeting up with some coordinators, and having an interview, I was in!

What kinds of things do you provide volunteer assistance with at the library?

I work at the Digital Hub, helping mostly seniors learn how to use technology more effectively on  iPads, laptops, computers, iPods, or phones.

You are one of our youngest volunteers at the library, and you work with some of our most elderly customers. Is the age gap an issue and are people shocked when they see how young you are? 

The age gap doesn’t seem to be a problem in the least!  I think the elderly people love seeing a young face.  Sometimes when someone arrives for a lesson, even though I am right there, they stand around and seem to be wondering where their teacher is!  I approach them with a smile and ask them, “Are you here for the Digital Hub?”  I sometimes receive a surprised look but they don’t seem to mind at all.

What is it about volunteering you enjoy – where do you get your moments of joy?

It is such a joy to be able to explain things and solve problems that have been such a pain to the customer.  I love seeing the excitement on their face when they understand how to navigate or use a certain product.  It is always fun to amaze them with handy new tricks like copy and pasting (my most popular one)! I love hearing positive reports from staff members about people who have really appreciated a session.

What are some of the challenges with volunteering?

I think the biggest challenge is thinking up solutions on the spot and figuring out how to explain them as clearly as I can.

You are so young and the world is your oyster. Why have you made the choice to volunteer at such a young age, rather than go out and party, enjoy your hobbies and friends?

I thought volunteering would be the perfect way to get a taste of what a job might be like.  And I am actually enjoying my hobbies at the hub by teaching and exploring technology!  I have even met some lovely new people whom I am getting to know. I enjoy my regular customers!

What would you say to someone who is interested in volunteering, but is slightly hesitant about giving it a go?

Don’t let an opportunity such as volunteering pass you by!  It is a perfect way to get some great experience and meet some lovely people along the way.  You will never regret doing something that is not just beneficial for yourself but also for the many people who you will be helping.  It doesn’t hurt to give volunteering a try but you will probably end up continuing once you’ve started!

Have you met our Digital Hub Volunteer…Gordon?


Library Volunteer – Gordon

Internet Training is a popular program in the Library which has Digital Hub Volunteers provide individual, hands on assistance to Library customers who are new to using computers and tablet devices and need to build their confidence. Gordon has been a Volunteer for nearly 3-years and shares some thoughts on his role as a Digital Hub Volunteer.

Why do you like volunteering at the Library? I get a kick out of seeing someone grasp a new concept or feeling a little less threatened by computers. Also, I like people to become computer literate so they will have some access to the world should they become ‘shut in’.

How has Volunteering changed your life?It’s replaced work, providing contact with people, as well as some discipline and job satisfaction. I enjoyed work and would not have retired had I been able to reduce hours. Now I do some sort of voluntary work three or four days a week and have time to spend on hobbies as well.

City of Tea Tree Gully Library  is celebrating National Volunteers Week 13th-19th May 2013. We have over 140 volunteers in the Library, across 9 different programs. To all of our volunteers we say, ‘thanks a million.’

Have you met our Early Learning Program Volunteer… Daisy?


Library Volunteer – Daisy.

Storytime, is an active and vocal session aimed at pre-schoolers who enjoy themselves with a mixture of picture book story reading, singing much loved rhymes and craft activities. Early Learning Program Volunteers assist on this program by preparing the children’s area and craft activities ready for the young people and facilitating the session. Daisy is an Early Learning Volunteer and shares her thoughts.


What do you like about volunteering at the Library?
In my role as a Storytime Volunteer I get to meet and interact with other people and especially the children, which I love.

Do you have a memorable moment you would like to share?
Every Storytime session brings pleasure to see the ‘littlies’ faces light up as they listen to stories and sing their favourite songs. I love to see that!

What has volunteering brought to your life?
I am a widow, my daughter lives in Victoria and my son and his family (two of three grandchildren and a great grandchild) live in Mount Gambier, so volunteering fills this gap in my life and provides me with a chance to meet people of all ages, not just ‘oldies’ like me!

The  Library  is celebrating National Volunteers Week 13th-19th May 2013. We have over 140 volunteers in the Library, across 9 different programs. To all of our volunteers we say, ‘thanks a million.’

Do you know someone who would be interested in becoming a Volunteer Literacy Mentor?

The Cities of Salisbury and Tea Tree Gully are seeking volunteer mentors to work one-on-one with young people to improve their literacy skills using a program called Multilit.
People who are passionate about literacy, have experience working with young people and are a good communicator would be suitable for this role.

The role will involve conducting at least three, one-hour, one-on-one sessions a week, at either Bagster Road Community Centre Salisbury or HIVE 12–Twenty Five Modbury.

All relevant training, such as Child Safe Environments and training in the Multilit model will be provided before commencement of the mentoring role on 23 July 2012.

Get your volunteer expression of interest in by Friday 8 June.
Volunteer expressions of interest, can be made at http://mybookingmanager.com/literacymentors.

For more information please contact Kate Walker on 8253 9928 or kwalker@salisbury.sa.gov.au

The Family History Volunteers Rack Up 1000 Enquiries for 2010/11!

The Family History Volunteers have been counting down for the last couple of weeks but on Thursday the 9th of June (that’s D-Day+3 for those of us who are historically minded) the team cracked their 1000th customer for the 2010/11 financial year.

Tim Perkins of Para Hills was the lucky 1000th. Tim is a semi regular customer of the service and he was very pleased to receive his celebratory copies of Haystacks to Cul de Sacs and From Paddocks to Plaza!

Tim was introduced to us through a Family History Course put on by the Local History Service and his win was celebrated by the volunteers also.

While Tim was the winner, the volunteers did the hard work. A session with a Family History volunteer can often run for over an hour (conditions approving) which means that Local History tasks aside the Vollies here have achieved anywhere between 1000 and 5000 hours of successful service.

The Local History Service simply could not cope without them.

If you see Pam, Barbara, June, Helen, Lyn, Geoff or Faye please congratulate them on their milestone!

No more training in 2010

The Library’s Internet Training program and Basic Computer Skills for Beginners sessions have finished for 2010.
Both will recommence in February next year.
View the Library’s Internet Training webpage in January for details of the 2011 program.

A great big thankyou to our wonderful Basic Computer Skills volunteers who have used their vast experience, skills and patience to assist over 300 computer beginners this year!
Their hard work has really been appreciated by those they have assisted and by the staff of the Library.

Celebrating Our Successes: Heritage Heroes Award

(L-R): Geoff (Local History Volunteer), Pam (Local History Volunteer), David (Local History Officer), June (Local History Volunteer), Melaina (Librarian, Library Partnerships)

Did you know the City of Tea Tree Gully Library’s Local History Volunteers were recently recognised as finalists for the Heritage Heroes Award?

 The Heritage Heroes Award is an annual award which celebrates South Australia’s heritage. It is open to volunteers working in a heritage field or organisation. The “One on One Family History Help,” project was nominated, which developed in 2009 in response to a growing interest in family history. It has gone from strength to strength over the past year with its popularity far exceeding initial expectations. Collectively the Local History Volunteers have donated 2,594 hours of their time and assisted more than 850 people during 2009 to 2010.

 In addition, Melaina Tate, Librarian for Library Partnerships, here at the City of Tea Tree Gully Library recently gave a short presentation at last weeks Council meeting on the 14th September to celebrate the Heritage Heroes Award and acknowledge the time and dedication our Local History Volunteers share with the community.

 The City of Tea Tree Gully Library simply could not achieve all the things we do without the support, hard work and ideas of our volunteers.

 If you are interested in making a booking with our fabulous Local History Volunteers for One on One Family History Help please contact the City of Tea Tree Gully Library on (08) 8397 7444.

It all adds up!

Bowman family tree

The Local History area has a dedicated group of five volunteers who freely give up three days a week to assist patrons with family history help.
Family history volunteers have put in over 2,366 hours in the past year.  
That’s equivalent to over 1 year and 10 weeks of work, based on a 38 hour week.  They have helped over 650 people  from July 2009 to April 2010. 
We have completed our longest family history query, the Bowman family, resulting in 294 names and a printed family tree of 35, A4 pages, stretching over 11.2 metres!

Come and see us for help with your family history.

They’re back!

The Local History volunteers are back on board after a restful Christmas break. You can see them in the Local History area, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 to 5:00pm.

They are keen to help you in your research and fulfill some of those family history New Year resolutions. 
No questions are too tricky for this wonderful team!