Volunteers play vital roles in helping the Library further its mission of building an educated and vibrant community through access to information and opportunities. Each month we introduce you to and highlight the work of one of these generous individuals.
Meet Bob Curci
“The two most important things in life are running and reading. I used to tell my daughter Emily this all the time,” says Bob Curci, volunteer extraordinaire at Wheat Ridge Library. “Imagine our surprise, then, when we were watching Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards on TV about 15 years ago, and out comes Will Smith, who proceeds to tell all the children in America that the ‘keys of life are running and reading.’ Of course, Will made the case much more eloquently than me.”
Great minds think alike – and here’s their rationale. When you’re running, there’s a little voice inside your head telling you to quit, and that it’s too hard. If you can learn to ignore that negative voice, you’ll go far in life. And reading? Well, that’s how you find the answers to all life’s challenges, because someone else has experienced the same problems in life as you, and written about them.
“There’s so much you can learn from reading books. I wasn’t a big reader as a child. It wasn’t until after college that I discovered this pastime. Now I like to read everything – health, history, fiction and books about other countries and cultures.”
Naturally, Bob is thrilled about volunteering in a place where he’s surrounded by books. He’s a frequent volunteer at the Library Foundation’s semi-annual Whale of a Used Book Sales. He also handles a myriad of responsibilities two days a week at Wheat Ridge Library – dispatching the library’s weekly recycling, organizing newspapers and magazines, assisting with various programs and shelving holds and materials.
“The shelving part was really hard for me at first,” Bob grins, “until I learned that i comes before e except after c.”
A born salesman, Bob works for a Canadian-owned company called Samuel, distributing metals to fabricators and end users, and selling services like cutting, forming, and shaping of raw materials. The same qualities that have contributed to his successful selling career also make him a top notch volunteer in the eyes of library staff and patrons alike – the sheer enjoyment of interacting with people, asking questions, offering help, wanting to be a positive part of others’ lives, and most importantly, caring.
Social consciousness – that desire to give one’s gifts and talents for the betterment of the world – seems to run in Bob’s family. His wife Joanie is a retired pediatrician who also volunteered her expertise in poverty-stricken communities in Vietnam, Haiti, Peru, India and Cuba. Emily is an aerospace engineer – a real rocket scientist – and at the tender age of 25 is working Mission Control at NASA in Houston. And Bob’s son Lucas is a marine biologist and manager for a company that monitors commercial fishing in U.S. coastal waters.
“You might say that we’ve all figured out that life is not about what you receive – it’s about what you give. That’s where true happiness lies – being on the giving end of things,” Bob says.
Outside of work, traveling, and volunteering for the library, Bob somehow finds time for running, a pastime he’s enjoyed for over 40 years. He has 37 marathons under his belt and competed in his first triathlon over the summer.
“I have a few races coming up,” says Bob, “and I might need to take a few days off from the library in order to train for these runs. I hate to shirk my responsibilities, but until someone figures out how to squeeze a couple more hours in the day, I don’t know where to fit the training in.”
Rest assured, Bob, the folks at Wheat Ridge Library will understand. And they’re ever so grateful for all you do!