Volunteer Spotlight: Anita, Belmar Library

JCPL's Volunteer of the Month for September 2023

Anita and Jefferson County go way back. A Denver native, Anita remembers when Lakewood became a city in 1969 — she lived on the east side of Sheridan, the border between Denver and Lakewood. Twenty years later, Anita moved to Lakewood and watched as the community went through many changes, including the building of downtown Lakewood in Belmar. Back then, the nearest library to Anita was located on Harlan Street near Alameda Avenue before moving to the current location of the Belmar Library in 2000.

Twenty years after that, Anita worked briefly for JCPL as a page at the height of COVID-19, right when everything felt uncertain.

"When I started, each book or material that was returned had to be quarantined for three days, then could be sorted and made available to patrons," she says. "There was a whole process to ensure materials were not returned to the floor before its time. I worried that I would never get it!"

Anita then returned to her part-time work at Coors Field with Argus Event Staffing but continued volunteering at JCPL.

"I pull expired holds and run them through the sorter," Anita says. "I also stock the book sale shelves, pull expired magazines and, occasionally, I get to shelve books after being checked back in. The whole process that each item goes through before it is available for the patrons to enjoy fascinates me."

Now retired from the State of Colorado and the U.S. Army Reserves, Anita primarily worked at the Federal Center in Lakewood. She would deploy to other units during training sessions to evaluate the troops and their performance of critical and routine tasks. She learned a lot in those days — her work has made her confident and detail-oriented — and Anita has vowed to continue learning something new every year.

"I have tried many fun and interesting things but mastered none," Anita says, explaining that her hobbies tend to spring up from a whim. Over the past few years, she has tried paddle boarding, crocheting, calligraphy, distilling homemade spirits, ukulele, golfing and weaving.

One of Anita's favorite hobbies is exploring with her beloved dogs. She has discovered nearly every corner of Lakewood with her Pomeranian, Buttie, who passed away recently. Now, she walks with her puppy, Bandit.

"He doesn't like walking as much as Buttie did, but he's learning," Anita says, "Bandit and I are looking forward to walking trails in Jefferson County and discovering more of the metro area parks and trails."

Staff appreciate Anita's steady and positive presence at JCPL.

"Anita has a great sense of humor, is reliable and fun to work with," says Mary, Belmar Library's operations manager. "She clears holds for us, monitors magazines, removes new stickers and helps maintain the Foundation book sale area."

Thank you so much for your contributions to JCPL, Anita!