LIVERMORE — Spruce Mountain Primary School librarian Cheryl Mills said the commitment and consistency of her crew of volunteers are essential to the library’s operations.

“I believe it takes a village to raise a child and a great community to have good schools,” she said. “We have that here at SMPS. The volunteers are vital to the management here in the library world.”

When Livermore Elementary School went through the accreditation process years ago, more community involvement was recommended and Mills came up with the volunteer program.

“These volunteers are incredible, unsung heroes,”Mills said. “If someone can’t be here, a substitute is found. They build relationships with the students.”

Each weekday a different volunteer spends two to three hours in the library. They fix minor damages to books, check books for extra papers or bookmarks, help decorate the library and check out books.

“We change what’s in the doorway with each season to make it more inviting,” said Pat Laverdiere, a retired teacher who taught in a neighboring school district. Her children attended local schools.

“I always wanted to volunteer, do things in their schools but I had other commitments,” she said. “After I retired I got the chance to volunteer.” She’s done so for 12 to 13 years.

Her sister-in-law Gail Laverdiere has been volunteering for seven years.

“Pat told me I needed something to do, Gail Laveriere said. “Seeing the kids. Oh my gosh! Being in the banking business, I never knew what it was to be a teacher.”

This is Betty Wilkins’ third year volunteering at the library. She started at the Book Nook in the late 1980s and was librarian at the Livermore Falls Middle School for two years.

“When my granddaughter started school here in 2015, I got involved. It’s just fun being around the kids,” she said.

Terry Norris has been at the school since it opened and her daughter, who is 23, attended the school.

“It’s just amazing to watch Cheryl with the kids, promoting literacy, Norris said. “She’s an inspiration. I love to hear Cheryl read a story.”

Donna Groves, who is retired, is in her fifth year as a volunteer.

“When you’re working, you can’t always volunteer. Working here is a great way to give back to the community,” she said. 

“If everyone would take a turn volunteering, what a better world it would be,” Pat Laverdiere said.

Mills summed up her appreciation, saying, “I can’t convey enough how truly blessed I am to have such an amazing group of volunteers.”

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Spruce Mountain Primary School library volunteers, from left, Donna Groves, Gail Laverdiere and Pat Laverdiere check books for papers, bookmarks and repairs at the Livermore facility. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)

Betty Wilkins, a volunteer at Spruce Mountain Primary School library in Livermore, helps Lance Cunningham find books. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)

Volunteers Donna Groves, left, and Pat Laverdiere talk with student Ashlyn Toothaker at the Spruce Mountain Primary School library in Livermore. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)

Volunteer Terry Norris checks out a book for student Kilee Lewis at the Spruce Mountain Primary School library in Livermore, while student Sophie Morton waits her turn. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)


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