Following the Friends of the LSU Libraries’ (FOLL’s) annual Book Bazaar in April, which garnered a record-breaking turnout and raised an impressive $80,000, LSU Libraries honored the volunteers who played an integral role in this success. The inaugural “Giving Back to Those Who Give: Volunteer Appreciation Night” took place on June 21 at Hill Memorial Library and served as a fitting tribute to the outstanding achievements and unwavering commitment of these remarkable volunteers.
According to Ronnie Harris, FOLL volunteer and former mayor of Gretna, Louisiana, “My wife’s commitment to volunteering inspired me to contribute during the crucial book sale period. Knowing how the state’s budget often leaves higher education dry of funds, I just knew I had to be a part of it. FOLL plays a crucial role in filling the funding gaps for the library, and this first-class event was a great way to honor the dedicated volunteers.”
The highlight of the evening was a guided tour of LSU Libraries’ renowned Special Collections, allowing volunteers and their guests to explore the treasures and notable items acquired through the generosity of FOLL, a nonprofit organization established in 1962 to provide vital financial support. Additionally, attendees viewed a display of historic FOLL ephemera, which showcased the organization’s longstanding dedication to supporting the library’s mission.
“Being recognized at the volunteer appreciation event deepened my sense of belonging to the LSU family, and the behind-the-scenes tour of Special Collections opened my eyes to the many impressive and valuable resources housed there. Knowing that I have contributed to their collections in this way has left me with a profound sense of accomplishment,” said Mike Liffmann, FOLL volunteer and Louisiana Sea Grant Scholar.
At the end of the night, volunteers were presented with Louisiana Volunteer Service Award certificates, signed by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, which recognize individuals who demonstrate excellence through volunteerism.
“It is no exaggeration to say that the annual Friends of the LSU Libraries Book Bazaar is part of the fabric of this community. It’s part of our quality of life here in Baton Rouge, and a beautiful tradition available to everyone,” said Stanley Wilder, Dean of LSU Libraries. “As long as our volunteers have the strength and the will to do this enormous work, we’ll do everything we can to support it and to recognize their selfless efforts.”