On Libraries and Volunteering


Submitted by Don Waldrop.

Who wouldn’t like to work in a place where you can sit around and read all the books that you always wanted to read, and have first pick when the new books arrive? The library is the ideal place to volunteer for those very reasons. All those who believe that stand on your head and whistle the Hallelujah Chorus through a straw.

Being a librarian is hard never-ending work. If nothing else, it makes your brain tired. And there is a always a gallimaufry of jobs that must be done if the time can be found to do them. Enter the volunteer. My first job in special collections was to make a list of things that were not on any previous list and were, therefore, unknown. Now those items are in a computer and can be searched and then found by the people who need them. It is a great learning experience for the volunteer. I have learned to label things properly. Tapes labeled “2002” or “Ralph’s speech” do not tell much about what is on the tape or disc. They do, however, make an otherwise dull job slightly more exciting an make the imagination run madly in all directions.

Presently I am entering pictures into a computer. I forget how dull the work is because I enjoy looking at all the pictures. If I were not here to do this work, my boss would have to do it. He would not like it, and I am sure the skilled labor could be used more advantageously. My boss had to think, set up programs, set the machines, instruct the volunteers and oversee. I punch little buttons and go home.

I enjoy the work because I do not have to deal with the alphabetically or numerically challenged people or lazy people who cannot find what they are looking for. I do not have to answer dumb questions. All I really have to do is whatever the boss tells me to do. Besides, where else does the boss bring you a cup of coffee as you work?


Don Waldrop volunteers three hours each week in the Digital Scholarship Center. He is currently digitizing 35mm slides from the Forrest Waldrop collection. If the name sounds familiar, it is because Forrest is Don’s father, and the collection is just one of the great collections being held and preserved inside ACU’s Special Collections. We are grateful for Don and all of our other volunteers. ¬†To learn more about volunteering, please contact Donald Simpson for more details.

Don Waldrop digitizing 35mm slides from the Forrest Waldrop collection, located in ACU's Special Collections.

Don Waldrop digitizing 35mm slides from the Forrest Waldrop collection, located in ACU’s Special Collections. Special Collections is located on the lower level of ACU’s Brown Library.