Marin Harrington fondly recalls spending hours at Omaha Public Library’s Willa Cather Branch as a child. “I grew up reading at this library,” said Harrington.
The library solidified her love of reading, which still entices her at age 18. At age 10, it gave her a sense of independence, as her mother allowed her to wander the library’s stacks to select her next literary conquests, which she checked out with her own library card. It even spawned her former obsession with "Twilight," an “important part” of her life at the time she selected the novel as a prize for completing her Summer Reading Program (SRP) goals.
When Harrington sought volunteer opportunities to meet community service requirements as a student at Duchesne Academy, her mother asked Willa Cather Branch staff if they needed any volunteers, and they did.
Volunteering for two hours weekly helped Harrington quickly meet her school requirements, but she enjoyed the work and chose to continue her shift for another three years! “Reading is so important to my life, so I decided I could take two hours out of my week to help,” said Harrington.
Though usually found shelving books, Harrington has also donned full-body costumes for character visits, stuffed hundreds of SRP prize bags, and helped with other tasks essential to the library’s operation.
“It’s a nice break from real life sometimes,” said Harrington.“When I was in high school, some days were so busy, but I would go to the library and shelve books or a couple hours and it would get my mind away from everything.” Harrington’s time as an OPL volunteer ended in August as she moved to Iowa to attend college.
“Marin has always been mature beyond her years with a positive personality to match. I have no doubt that she will achieve whatever she sets out to do,” said Lori Pitman, youth services librarian at Willa Cather Branch.
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering at OPL, visit your neighborhood branch or omahalibrary.org/volunteer for an application and more information.