This year marks a milestone 20 years of volunteer service for two members of the Bundaberg Friends of the Library group.
Bundaberg Regional Libraries offers a book delivery service through the volunteer group, allowing community members to have books delivered to their homes should they not be able to visit the library.
In celebration of National Volunteer Week Dianne Hansen, one of the two volunteers marking two decades of giving back, has shared her story.
Dianne credits her longevity as a volunteer to her love of reading.
“The main reason I volunteer is because I would never want anyone who wants to read a book not to have one as that would be terrible,” she said.
“I really enjoy being with people and helping people as they are so happy and joyful when they get the books.”
The service is run weekly, fortnightly, monthly or as often as needed, depending on the recipient’s needs with volunteers delivering books around the entire region.
Manager of Library Services at Bundaberg Regional Council Peta Browne said the service allowed everyone to be part of the library community, even if they can’t get into the library itself.
“The service is all about inclusion as we still want people to have access to books when they may not be able to leave their home,” she said.
“We want to provide people with the opportunity to learn about their topic of interest or dive into a book.
“It reduces boredom and keeps the mind active while giving them some social interaction as they might have a coffee and a chat while they are delivering.”
One of Dianne’s favourite memories is the friendship she now has with a neighbour of one of her usual delivery stops, which was formed through her curiosity about the service.
“When I was delivering books to a lady in pensioner units, the woman next door would always come out and look and I kept saying to her would you like a book?” Dianne said.
“One day she came over and she asked me if I could bring her books and that was 13 years ago, and now we are just such great friends.
“It has just been wonderful; I love to help her and look after her and she has become wonderful friends with my little granddaughter, and they rather adore each other.”
Peta said that the volunteers were mostly retired and had a passion for helping people and sharing the library services.
“These volunteers still enjoy reading themselves and know the library inside and out,” she said.
“They are volunteer minded and want to help the community and they get to talk and share their love of literature and reading with others.”
There are 25 volunteers who form the Friends of the Library and they are currently delivering books to 40 residents.
Find out more about the services provided by the Friends of the Library group here.
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