Volunteer Spotlight: Katherine, Lakewood Library

JCPL's June 2022 Volunteer of the Month

This month's featured volunteer is Lakewood Library's Katherine! Katherine has been with JCPL for eight years, helping in the sorter room, shelving books and media and assisting with any other operational tasks that need doing. Previously, she helped out with the Library To You program, which delivers books, DVDs and audiobooks to homebound readers across Jefferson County. Katherine rises with the sun to help staff out before the Library opens — it takes a special soul to stick with an early morning shift well into retirement! Kamie, the operations supervisor at Lakewood, says everyone on the team appreciates Katherine's stellar attitude and reliability, noting, "Katherine is always cheerful during her early morning shifts, which brightens up everyone's day. She oftentimes braves the snow and ice so she can come in and help us!"

Katherine is no stranger to supporting public institutions. Before joining JCPL in 2014, she volunteered at the College Hill Library in Westminster for 10 years. She also served at Rocky Mountain PBS and as a gallery host at the Denver Art Museum, where she enjoyed being the first to see new pieces and exhibits.

Reading and spending time at libraries is in Katherine's blood. Her mother was an avid reader, and much of Katherine's childhood in Chicago was spent at the library. Her brother shares her passion, as he was the director of the Roanoke Library system for many years. Katherine decided to volunteer at JCPL because she enjoys the opportunity to meet new people and be exposed to new books while helping support the community. She's discovered many new authors during her time at the Library but often returns to her favorite genre — grim, psychological Swedish mysteries. Her dark taste in reading material is a fascinating juxtaposition with her upbeat and sunny personality!

In addition to reading, Katherine also has a lifelong passion for environmental preservation. Before retirement, she worked for the Water Research Foundation as well as several other environmental nonprofits.

Now, she focuses her climate activism efforts on performing research for her son, who works in solar energy and is writing a book on strategies to reverse climate change. Every day, Katherine peruses the media to add to a curated list of news articles on this topic for her son's website. Her research skills are unmatched!

Though she's been retired for 14 years, Katherine does not intend to slow down or take the easy road. She and her husband have been using their time to travel across the world, and their explorations have taken them to Ireland, the British Isles, Chile, Portugal (twice!), France, Italy, Costa Rica and Spain, to name just a few! They also frequently travel to New Mexico and other areas of the Southwest, where her husband can practice his hobby of astrophotography in the dark skies of the desert.

After almost 30 years in Colorado, Katherine and her husband are ready for the next new adventure and hope to move to a new state in the next year or two. We will miss you, Katherine, and look forward to hearing your stories from your next destination!