Everyone finds peace in different places, but for the last four years Carol Armbrust has found hers at W. Dale Clark Main Library. As someone whose favorite pastime is sitting on her patio with a fire burning and a book in her hand, Armbrust’s volunteer work in Main Library’s children’s department makes perfect sense. For three hours each week, she comes to the downtown library for her “time of zen,” where she organizes books, dusts shelves, and helps out with other miscellaneous tasks. You will often find her on Mondays in what she jokes is her “corner office,” a table on the south wall of the children’s section, working while listening to music by Reba McEntire, Sheryl Crow, or the band Cajun Connection.
“I have a lot going on in the real world and the library is just a quiet place to escape to,” said Armbrust. Armbrust has become one of OPL’s most reliable volunteers, which earned her recognition from the Nebraska Library Association (NLA) and Nebraska state senators as an outstanding volunteer. Armbrust was recognized during NLA’s Advocacy Day in Lincoln on March 21 at a luncheon which she attended with Main Library’s Youth Services Librarian Mary Mollner, who nominated her for the award.
“There have been several times when Carol came to volunteer and I was not working,” Mollner wrote in her nomination. “She quickly figures out what needs to be done, does it, and leaves a note about how she spent her time.”
Outside of volunteering at Main Library, Armbrust works as a waitress at Richie’s Chicken four days a week, and has grandchildren with whom she loves to spend time. Each summer, she takes a break from volunteering so that she and her husband can take their RV camper to enjoy state parks in Nebraska and surrounding states. While she loves to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, she looks forward to returning to her role at the library each fall. “I got lucky, I really enjoy being here,” she said.
OPL would like to thank Carol and all library volunteers who commit their time to help the library run smoothly for its patrons. 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.