Jennie Phuong

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

OC Community Resources
OC Public Libraries
Garden Grove Regional Library

ACTION: What did the volunteer do?

Jennie Phuong PhotoSince the summer of 2005, Jennie Phuong has dedicated more than 400 hours to her volunteer endeavors at the Garden Grove Regional Library. She’s served on the Teen Advisory Council, worked with children enrolled in the library’s Summer Reading Program, and provided staff support with ongoing library operations and special events.

Jennie was instrumental in organizing the Teen Advisory Council and served in a leadership capacity for the organization since its inception in February 2009. She demonstrated incredible initiative and enthusiasm in developing the council, worked in collaboration with the teen librarian to initiate the project and served as the council president.

Jennie’s organizational skills enhanced the council’s ability to track members and record activities. Working with the teen librarian, she developed several forms, including the council’s application. In addition, she planned for and chaired council meetings and actively recruited other teens in an effort to build a strong and effective membership.

Another important accomplishment for Jennie was the creation of the Teen Advisory Council’s YahooGroup site, which has become a useful social-networking tool for current and prospective members. She actively managed the site by tracking and updating members and facilitating the group’s communication. In addition, she maintained the calendar of activities and posted documents for members to review and submit comments.

Over the years, Jennie has encouraged young readers through the library’s Summer Reading Program and provided staff support with a variety of ongoing assignments such as helping at the library’s circulation desk; processing book shipments; and sorting, cleaning, labeling and shelving books. In addition, she has demonstrated exceptional creativity with arts and crafts projects for several library programs available to children and teens.

NEED: What community or agency need did the volunteer address?

Through Jennie’s volunteer efforts, the Garden Grove Regional Library’s Teen Advisory Council was established to provide the teen librarian with recommendations for activities and services specifically designed for teen patrons and to assist in the planning and preparation of teen programs. In addition, Jennie encouraged younger patrons to develop a passion for reading through her involvement in the library’s Summer Reading Program. It’s important to mention that Jennie never shied away from the more routine duties that are critical to a library’s success. She could always be counted on to assist staff with day-to-day library-specific operations.

Jennie Phuong Photo

Pictured from left to right, Library Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator Debra Eddy,
Garden Grove Regional Branch Librarian Thomas Fitch, Library Volunteer Jennie
Phuong, Board of Supervisors First District Representative Nate Mitchell &
Adult Services Librarian Nadejda Iotova.

IMPACT: What is different as a result of the volunteer's service?

As a founder of the Teen Advisory Council, Jennie displayed tremendous enthusiasm and motivation in organizing the council and recruiting new members. The technical skills she utilized to launch and subsequently maintain the council’s YahooGroup site were exceptional. The interactive site remains an efficient tool for the Teen Advisory Council in tracking membership, organizing council activities, maintaining an activity calendar, facilitating member communication, and sharing memories through posted photos.

INSPIRATION: What makes the volunteer unique/special?

Jennie is an exemplary teen volunteer who inspires other teens to make a difference in their community through volunteer involvement. In addition to family, school and community commitments, she has completed more than 400 service hours with the Garden Grove Regional Library. Many volunteers focus their efforts on one program. Jennie has expanded her involvement to three major areas within the library and excelled within each program. She is a remarkably well mannered, punctual, kind, and respectful teen who embraces learning and gives generously of her time, talents and energy for the benefit of others.

According to Jennie, "The most important achievement for me as a volunteer at Garden Grove Regional Library is being able to learn how the library system works and being able to interact with really wonderful people." It’s apparent that she is very proud of her volunteer work with OC Public Libraries.

Thank you and congratulations to Jennie Phuong, recipient of the 2010 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!