Katherine "Katie" Johnson

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

OC Community Resources
OC Public Libraries
Ladera Ranch Library

ACTION:  What does the volunteer do?

Katie JohnsonKatherine Johnson, or “Katie,” is a stellar teen volunteer who for the past five years, has participated in and led numerous activities, events, and programs at the Ladera Ranch Library.  Her volunteer involvement began in 2009, the summer after her sixth grade school year, and since that time, she has accumulated more than 200 service hours.  Katie is a dedicated student and athlete, who will be entering her senior year of high school next fall and is making plans for college. Yet, despite a very busy schedule, she consistently returns to the library each summer to volunteer her time, talents, and energy.

Over the years, Katie has assisted children in reporting their reading progress during the library’s Summer Reading Program, she has provided leadership with Family Reading Time, and as a teen storyteller, she has planned and facilitated unique storytimes for young patrons.  Additional projects that Katie has helped with include preparation of materials for library programming, shelving books, and providing staff support with basic clerical assignments.

Katie contributes to the success of library programs by serving as a volunteer leader, which entails directing, supervising, and helping to train fellow volunteers.  In addition, for the past three years, she has taken the initiative to plan, design, and coordinate the installation of library wall art.  Katie is always willing to step in wherever her services are needed, and through her long-term commitment, she has become an amazing role model for other volunteers.

NEED:  What community need does the volunteer address?

The mission of OC Public Libraries is to “Empower and Enrich our Community.”  Simply put, Katie’s efforts have been aligned with this goal throughout her many years of service.  She has become empowered and helped to empower other young adults through her leadership role.  She has enriched the community in countless ways, especially by encouraging young readers and assisting parents during their participation in library programs.  Katie’s efforts enhance the library experience for patrons of all ages, and her volunteer engagement demonstrates to others the important role that citizens play in contributing to and improving their community.

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

As a result of Katie’s efforts, the school year consistently starts with a library that has been creatively designed and decorated by local teens.  Her leadership abilities have helped recruit teen volunteers who are instrumental to the success of the library’s summer activities.  Her positive attitude and excellent customer service skills garner praise and positive feedback from library patrons.  Her involvement supports library staff in their capacity to offer quality programming and retain dedicated teen volunteers who return each summer to encourage young readers.

INSPIRATION:  What makes the volunteer unique/special?

Katie is unique as a volunteer because she has provided consistent, quality volunteer assistance year-after-year.  She embarked on her volunteer endeavors at a very young age and has proven to be reliable and responsible in every aspect of her service.  She has grown into an amazing teen leader who takes initiative and does what needs to be done without being asked or reminded.  She sets high standards for fellow volunteers and is a young person who is acknowledged and appreciated for her exceptional involvement.  Katie is a special individual whose efforts are recognized by those within the library as well as by the wider community.

According to an unknown author, “Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!”  These words aptly summarize the significance of Katie’s contributions as a Ladera Ranch Library volunteer.

Thank you and congratulations to Katherine "Katie" Johnson, recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!

Click here to find out how you can volunteer with the OC Public Libraries!