Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner
OC Community Resources
OC Public Libraries
Laguna Niguel Branch Library
Laguna Niguel Friends of the Library
Pictured from left to right, Peggy Schwartz & Laguna
Niguel Branch Manager Loretta Farley.
ACTION: What does the volunteer do?
Since January 2003, Peggy Schwartz has served as the president of the Laguna Niguel Friends of the Library and contributed more than 2,500 volunteer hours. Over the years, she has provided outstanding leadership for the organization, working closely with Friends’ members in the volunteer-operated bookstore to raise funds that support the library and enhance library services and programs.
With the closure of the library for a year-long renovation, Peggy was instrumental in keeping the bookstore open to avoid disrupting any of the Friends’ fund-raising activities. Her coordination of the project included securing a lease, obtaining insurance, moving the entire Friends’ bookstore to the interim site and opening the bookstore for business. In addition, Peggy worked with OC Public Libraries to ensure funding for the Laguna Niguel Interim Library so that the city would continue to provide patrons with library service during the lengthy renovation. In many ways, Peggy helped maintain the library’s significant role within the community while major construction was underway.
NEED: What community or agency need does the volunteer address?
Peggy’s exceptional leadership, dedication and expertise have contributed tremendously to the Laguna Niguel Library’s effectiveness in meeting the needs of the community in terms of library access, collection development and programming. She is an advocate for libraries and is committed to providing a strong support base for the Laguna Niguel Library.
IMPACT: What is different as a result of the volunteer's service?
Peggy’s involvement with the Laguna Niguel Friends of the Library has heightened community awareness of the importance of OC Public Libraries within Orange County. Through her determination and expert leadership, Laguna Niguel Friends are successfully operating an interim bookstore during the library’s year-long renovation. In the absence of the bookstore, students, teachers and patrons, who often purchase books related to their academic, professional or personal interests, would have been negatively impacted. In addition, closure of the bookstore would have jeopardized the Friends’ ability to raise funds to augment library resources, programs and services.
INSPIRATION: What makes the volunteer unique/special?
Peggy consistently embraces a “big picture” approach in serving OC Public Libraries. While she does an excellent job leading the Laguna Niguel Friends of the Library and lending her support to the branch, she also believes that it is important for the Friends to take a global perspective and support the entire library system as well. When the Board of Supervisors recognized the Friends for their generous contributions to the OC Public Libraries, Peggy urged other board members to attend the meeting. In addition, she encouraged Friends’ members to broaden their involvement beyond the library branch by participating in the countywide Friends Appreciation Program.
Peggy’s accomplishments as president of the Laguna Niguel Friends of the Library and as a strong advocate for the OC Public Libraries are truly inspirational and worthy of our highest recognition.
Thank you and congratulations to Peggy Schwartz, recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!
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