Library News

Introducing Arthur Richardson, Volunteer Coordinator


Volunteers are vital to the day-to-day operations at Sedona Public Library. In fact, last year, our volunteers donated 10,298 hours of their time completing a variety of tasks and offering their service at three locations with an abundance of passion for the Library and kindness to our staff, patrons, and customers. We seriously could not do all that we do without their assistance, and we are forever grateful. You might be wondering just how it is that we have 150 active volunteers who make such a difference at the Library, and who coordinates all these community members? Let me introduce you to our Volunteer Coordinator, Arthur Richardson.

Of all his duties, the one that Arthur likes the most is coordinating events. There are two annual volunteer events: the smaller winter “Volunteer Meet & Greets” at each library location, and the annual spring Volunteer Recognition Celebration, a large party that commemorates our volunteers’ service. “I like building camaraderie between the volunteers and staff, Arthur explained. “It’s fun to see everyone meeting or re-meeting each other,” he said.

Arthur also stays busy with recruiting, interviewing, and training volunteers. They are screened thoroughly before hiring to make sure that they’re the right fit for our needs and that we’re the right place for them to volunteer. Long-time volunteer, Kathy Wege, loves volunteering for the Library and notes the importance of the job’s flexibility. “The Library has a flexibility with scheduling that many places don’t,” she explained. “That, and the friendly and encouraging staff make it so great to volunteer here.”

Arthur noted that the Library is always looking for new volunteers. “Even with so many active volunteers, we can always use more,” he said. The online application is available on our website, and once complete, Arthur will set up an interview.

Being a volunteer himself, Arthur understands the process. He came on board working at the Friends Used Book Store in 2020, and then he joined the staff in 2022 as our Volunteer Coordinator. “I like how this position provides direct support for the Library by matching the best volunteer candidates with tasks that are so important to the Library’s day-to-day functions.” Arthur enjoys interviewing new applicants. “It’s fun to meet so many different people.” He also volunteered as a chess coach at Cottonwood’s Library.

Volunteers typically shelve items, check in returned items, and pull and file holds in both library locations. At the Friends’ Used Book Store, volunteers shelve items and work the register. And, yes, all of this adds up to over 10,000 hours! Which, according to the Independent Sector, a research organization that assesses the status and work of non-profits across the U.S., is valued at $327,476. An hour of volunteer work is nationally valued at $31.80. Thank you, volunteers, and thank you, Arthur.

Arthur finds this compelling and encouraging. “I know the work the volunteers do really matters, and I’m glad to have a role in making it happen.” He appreciates them, and we

appreciate him. In fact, our Calendar Coordinator, Jan Marc Quisumbing, put it best when he said, “Working with Arthur has been a great experience. I respect his cool, calm demeanor and appreciate that he gets my sense of humor on days when it gets busy in the Library. I don’t hold it against him for being a Philadelphia Eagles fan, either.”

Finally, Friends Used Book Store Manager, Ellen White, also sums up having Arthur as a colleague. “He always goes the extra mile to help us out at the Book Store. He keeps us up to date, and he is simply a joy to work with.”

As we always do, we asked Arthur a few questions, to help you get to know him better.

Where were you born?

“I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and I left a week after I graduated from high school to join the U.S. Air Force.”

What was your first job?

“I worked for a janitorial service when I was in high school, and we had a contract at a Dunkin’ Donuts so I had to work before school. I loved being able to bring donuts home for my mom and family.”

What book has most influenced you and why?

“A book that influenced me greatly is James Baldwin’s Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone. The protagonist was an African American at an interesting time in U.S. history.”

Are you on Team Dog or Team Cat and why?

“I’d have to say I’m on both teams as I’ve had both types of pets. However, I lean more towards dogs, and I have actually trained my cats to behave like dogs.”

Have you ever seen a ghost or a UFO?

“No, I have not, but I have friends who have, so I do not dismiss the existence of ghosts or UFOs.”

What did you do before you joined the library?

“Before I came to the Library I was an U.S. Air Force instructor, elementary school teacher, corporate trainer, and Home Depot associate.”

Thanks for all you do, for us at the Library, Arthur!

Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and your gifts supplement the funding and support we receive from the City of Sedona, Coconino and Yavapai County property taxes, and Friends of the Sedona Library. Visit sedonalibrary.org/.

As published by the Red Rock News

Library News for February 16, 2024 
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director

About

Library News appears each Friday here and in the Red Rock News.

Archives