2020 Friends Volunteer of the Year

Posted Dec 23, 2020

As President of the Friends of Shorewood Public Library, it gives me great joy each year to present the Volunteer of the Year award. There are so many deserving people who offer their time and energy to the Village of Shorewood, the Library, and the Friends. This year, I am especially delighted to announce that the Volunteer of 2020 is Elizabeth Jonas.

During her tenure on the Friends Board of Directors, Elizabeth has served as Treasurer. Under her leadership, she brought significant changes as to how the Friends annually grant money to the Library for the purchase of materials as well as for underwriting programming for children, teens, and adults. These changes have greatly facilitated the transfer of funds and allowed librarians to plan their expenditures much more easily. Elizabeth also chaired an ad hoc committee that created the Cash Reserve Fund, giving the Library access to a percentage of year-end money that has allowed special purchases of children’s books, charging stations, and WiFi hotspots. In addition, Elizabeth helped design the Friends’ Alcove which has brought delight to weary patrons needing a comfortable sofa on which to rest, librarians and staff alike. And she has chaired the annual Staff Appreciation week when the Friends provide Valentine’s Day breakfast and treats. All this, plus she prepares the monthly budget statements and reports as well as the annual budget.

Behind the scenes, Elizabeth has also helped with set-up and tear-down of numerous Friends-sponsored events. One in particular is memorable for me: Elizabeth had just flown back to Shorewood from visiting her daughter at college. She came straight from the airport to the Village Center where she bustled into the kitchen to make tea and plate cookies for the Jane Austen tea party and one-woman play.

As we do each year for the Volunteer of the Year, her name will be added to the plaque on the wall between the Friends Used Book Sale and the Friends Alcove. In addition, the Friends are making a donation in Elizabeth Jonas’s name to purchase her favorite book. Tucked inside the front cover will be a special name plate. When we’re able to return safely to the Library, I invite you to stop by the Friends area and take note of Elizabeth’s name on the plaque. And one day soon, perhaps you’ll check out the book Elizabeth chooses!

Although you don’t have to volunteer your services to join the Friends, we always welcome volunteers to help with Adopt-A-Shelf, to serve on the Board of Directors, and to help staff various programs such as July’s Summer Celebration. If you are interested, please stop by the front desk, and clerk will direct you to our brochures. Over the years, we have honored many deserving volunteers. The Friends Board gratefully appreciates all volunteers’ commitment to and work on behalf of the Friends and the Shorewood Public Library. For 2020, we thank Elizabeth Jonas for her unstinting dedication that has done so much to enrich the busiest and most beloved place in the Village of Shorewood: its library!

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