Carole Blanscet

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

OC Community Resources
OC Public Libraries
Tustin Branch Library  

Carole BlanscetHonoree Carole Blanscet, Tustin Library Branch Manager Tim Scott & members of the Merry Menders!

Pictured from left to right: Carol Zuniga, Carole Blanscet,Tim Scott, Mary Lou McElroy & Marilyn DeBoynton.

ACTION:  What does the volunteer do?

The Tustin Branch Library’s records don’t go back far enough for an exact date, but one thing is for sure, Carole Blanscet has volunteered with the library since 1993, providing 20 years of continuous service.  Initially, she attended a book mending class offered by OC Public Libraries for staff and volunteers and then started the Merry Menders, a group of volunteers who meet weekly to mend and repair books.  Over the years, Carole has expanded her volunteer endeavors into other areas, and since 1993, she has contributed more than 4,000 volunteer hours.

Carole is involved in so many activities at the Tustin Branch Library that it’s difficult to imagine a week going by without her support. In addition, to day-to-day activities that help keep a library running smoothly, she is an active member of the Merry Menders and coordinates the program’s volunteers.  Carole also coordinates other adult volunteers who serve throughout the library in various capacities.

As the Merry Menders’ coordinator, Carole recruits and schedules volunteers and serves as the program’s liaison with library staff. In coordinating other adult volunteers, she reviews applications, contacts prospective volunteers, schedules interviews, and refers new volunteers to a librarian to assist with programs and special projects or arranges for their training in other assignments such as shelving books and helping patrons.

NEED:  What community need does the volunteer address?

Carole is an outstanding role model for the many volunteers she coordinates at the Tustin Branch Library.  She matches potential volunteers who are eager to help with various projects and programs available at the library. She is considered the point of contact, advocate and trainer for volunteers who dedicate more than 120 hours each month in an effort to enhance library services for the community. She provides leadership for and actively participates in the Merry Menders who repair hundreds of damaged books so that the materials remain in circulation for longer periods of time and can be readily accessed by library patrons.

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

Carole’s volunteer endeavors have two very important impacts on branch operations. First, the Merry Menders save an estimated 48 hours of staff time each month in book repair and assist the branch in retaining books that might otherwise be withdrawn from the collection.  Second, additional staff time is saved through Carole’s efforts in training, coordinating and mentoring more than 15 adult volunteers who work throughout the library and reviewing the 10 – 20 applications received each month from potential volunteers who are eager to get started.  Staff and patrons benefit tremendously from Carole’s willingness to give generously of her time, talents and energy in support of the Tustin Branch Library.

INSPIRATION:  What makes the volunteer unique/special?

Carole’s dedication to the library and passion in serving the community are exceptional traits that compel others to get involved and make a difference.  She works diligently to support staff in their efforts on behalf of library patrons.  Without hesitation, she helps with a variety of assignments, even with the more onerous tasks that others may shy away from.  When not repairing books, she finds time to dust library surfaces, clean books and wipe down shelves.  Most importantly, her willingness to coordinate other volunteers and her success in developing a dedicated volunteer team are remarkable contributions that are truly inspirational and worthy of our highest recognition.  

Thank you and congratulations to Carole Blanscet, recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!

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