Rachel Fernandes has visited Millard Branch since she was a child, so when her school required students to acquire volunteer service hours, Fernandes thought of the library. Now a sophomore at Duchesne Academy, Fernandes started volunteering with OPL during summer 2019, helping with the annual Summer Reading Program. She continued helping at the branch by shelving books until libraries closed in March 2020 because of the COVID pandemic.
As soon as OPL Teen Advisory Board (TAB) programs were available again virtually in fall 2020, Fernandes rejoined as a volunteer helping to plan library programs. She also served on the Millard Branch TAB, and has worked on a variety of projects and met great people along the way. Some of the projects she worked on include planning an escape room program at Millard Branch, and drafting a proposal that was presented to OPL leadership regarding the types of programs offered to teens at OPL.
“She’s an outstanding volunteer,” said Youth Services Librarian Jacqueline Wilber. “[She is] reliable, responsible and friendly.” Youth Services Specialist Kris Cram agreed. “Rachel is always willing to help us out, no matter what. She brings so much positivity to her work.”
Fernandes plans to continue volunteering with OPL until she finishes high school, and encourages other book and library lovers to consider volunteering at the library. “Don’t be afraid to get involved,” said Fernandes. “It’s fun and a great way to gain leadership experience.”
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering at OPL, visit your neighborhood branch or omahalibrary.org/volunteer for more information.