Some of you might not know after I leave work, I head for the gym, a running trail or hop on my bicycle. My passion for libraries, the outdoors and fitness has lead to some outreach opportunities for SALS and our member libraries.
As a member, and President of the Saratoga Stryders I have formed strong personal relationships and networks with people throughout the Capital region. I meet new runners and walkers, fitness related business owners, and race directors from non-profit organizations every week. During small talk and basic introductions, I get to explain my job as a librarian and system consultant to them. This usually leads to a discussion about their local library. When the library is in the SALS region I mention staff names and current services thus moving the conversation away from me and on to the wonderful things your library provides to your community.
Over the past few years, I have been volunteering for the Special Olympics NY Silks and Satins 5K race as a traffic marshal and creating goodie bags for the runners. This year, the group needed a new home for the goodie bag “party”. Having volunteered for this event, I knew the space needs for the group – a parking lot, a place to pull up a box truck, a long “board room” table set up, a kitchen and bathrooms. SALS was a perfect fit. I was pleased that we were able to partner with the Special Olympics and the Saratoga Stryders. Over 30 volunteers came to SALS to get ready for the race; I was able to explain my job and SALS services to a curious group of philanthropists.
Building community does not have to be difficult. I took something from my personal life and brought it into my “work life”. As a community partner, SALS provided building space. In return, over 900 volunteers and racers are wearing a shirt with our System name:
So do not hesitate to take your passions and personal interests and bring them to your library and always take advantage of telling people what you do!