“I love books!” says Linda Hoffman, retired resident at Good Shepherd apartments. “I’ve loved them my entire life.”
Hoffman’s first job after her children were born was at the local elementary school’s library. She began as a volunteer but became a regular worker. “They must have thought I was doing a good job because they gave me a job,” she grins.
Similarly, when Hoffman moved into Good Shepherd and began borrowing from the library, she volunteered on her own to straighten the shelves. “I got tired of just stacks of books. They needed organizing.”
Someone mentioned to Volunteer Coordinator Jenny Zimmer that Hoffman was doing great work, and Zimmer wasted no time in asking Hoffman to become the volunteer librarian for all five libraries on the Good Shepherd Community’s campus.
Hoffman classifies the donated books in her apartment and then distributes them to various locations. Currently, she is categorizing all book titles into a computer data bank. The libraries operate on the honor system, and there is no checkout. “It works pretty well,” she says.
However, Hoffman has noted specific needs as she goes about her work: large print books, for example, and a machine to play audio books. In an effort to expand the library’s reach, Hoffman composed a donation request letter that Zimmer distributed to community partners.
That’s where Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud stepped in to help. Over a period of a month, staff collected books to donate to Good Shepherd, keeping in mind resident favorite interests like mystery, biography and history. The college also donated $250 to the Good Shepherd Volunteers, earmarking the library as benefactor.
Hoffman couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome, and she was anxious to get back to her room and start categorizing as soon as the books were delivered.
Regarding modern technology taking over books–like the iPad–Hoffman declares, “I think it’s shame. Parents need to teach their children how to hold a book in their hands. Smell it.”
For now, she will stick with her libraries.