Former Librarian Does What Needs to be Done

Debbie Sharp has been named Volunteer of the Year for 2018 by Paso Robles City Library staff. Sharp has been volunteering at the library since she and her husband, Loren, moved to Paso Robles in 2009.
Sharp has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in library science and has worked for several libraries in the past, so when Loren’s job with PG&E brought them to Paso Robles, she knew the library was the perfect place for her to spend her time.

“My favorite part is interacting with the public. I also like processing books because you get to see all the new books,” Sharp said. “Volunteering at the library has probably done more for me than I have for the library.”

Over the years, Sharp has worked in different areas of the library. Currently, she works at the circulation desk and catalogs and processes new books. She started out working at the reference desk, but she prefers to stay busy, which she does at the circulation desk. Three years ago, Sharp joined the Board of Trustees for the library.

“Debbie is one of those people who definitely does what needs to be done,” Paso Robles City Librarian Angelica Fortin said. “She exemplifies that by deciding to apply for the Board of Trustees.”

One of Sharp’s favorite things is to recommend books. An avid reader, Sharp has read a lot of books and loves to share the books she’s read with others. Some of her favorite authors are Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian and Rick Bragg. There were too many authors for her to list.

“I read everything, except science fiction,” Sharp said, adding “I don’t cook much, but I love to read cookbooks.”

The Volunteer of the Year is decided by the staff and is a process that took a few months. In February, the staff started discussing volunteers and identifying those who go above and beyond.

“Selecting [a VotY] every year is extremely difficult,” Fortin said. “They’re not looking for recognition, they’re here because they care. They really make [the library] feel like a community.”

The selection of the Volunteer of the Year is kept quiet until the library’s annual volunteer appreciation event, which now takes place at the end of April, which is National Volunteer Month — at the end of National Library Week. The honoree is announced at the event.

“I was surprised,” Sharp said. “I was sort of amazed. I didn’t feel I was doing anything special or wonderful to warrant it. But I’m very honored that they felt I was doing enough.”

Previous recipients:
Anne Bell, 2017
Mary Walters, 2016
Jan York, 2015
Shirley Gray, 2014
Nancy Stephens, 2013
Jean Schweitzer, 2012
Bill Dupree, 2011
Nan Madding, 2010
Cappy Culver, 2009
Mike Reagan, 2008
Joan Case, 2007
Denise Surber, 2006
Ann Martinez, 2005
Audrey Krauss 2004
Janine Kramer, 2003
Jean Schubert, 2002

“This is the 17th year the Library has presented a Library Volunteer of the Year Award and we couldn’t be happier to award it this year to Debbie,” Fortin said, adding that Sharp’s name has been added to the perpetual plaque in the library.

Sharp is regularly scheduled to volunteer at the library eight hours a week, but she said she also fills in for other volunteers as needed. So watch for her at the circulation desk, and ask her what book she recommends for you.

For more information about volunteering in the city library, go to prcity.com/library or call Volunteer Coordinator Suzanne Robitaille.

The Paso Robles City Library is located at 1000 Spring St.
and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information on library programs and events,
call 805-237-3870 or go to the library’s website.