Willow Glen Branch Library is graced with a very supportive community, including some wonderful volunteers. Nearly every month, well over 100 hours’ labor is donated by volunteers, more than half of that by the Friends of the Willow Glen Library. Some FWGL volunteers pull double duty, like Helena Martiyan. Not only does she sort donations and restock the Friends’ book sale nook, she also comes in weekly just to help the Library staff in the Marketplace area, shelving hundreds of DVDs, CDs, Audio Books, and New and Reserved materials. Helena stared volunteering at Willow Glen shortly after the branch re-opened in 2008.
Helena loved her local public library when she was growing up in Manhattan after having moved from Europe at age 7. To a shy child, the library was a welcoming refuge full of her best friends: books. She continued to love books her whole life and made her career teaching writing and literature, including classes for non-native-English speakers. She also worked in several bookstores. In 2005, she moved to California to be near her son and two grandchildren. Now, she makes the time to volunteer in her neighborhood library. That happens to be Willow Glen. Lucky us! Helena was chosen by the branch leadership team to be the 2012 Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations, Helena!