‘It’s addictive:’ Flagler County volunteer books it to help out at local library

Flagler County Library is looking for more volunteers

PALM COAST, Fla. – Ask any county library what makes them special and they’ll probably say the programs—those cultural displays, guest speakers, children’s story times and holiday events.

This week’s Getting Results Award winner is helping to keep those programs funded in Flagler County.

Connie Hussey has been volunteering at the Flagler County Library in Palm Coast for seven years. As donations coordinator, she oversees the library bookstore, which is run by The Friends of the Library, a nonprofit.

“Everything in here is used. Everything here is donated,” said Hussey, as she organized the bookshelves. “The whole point is to raise money for the library.”

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And that’s where Hussey is getting results. She’s helped increase sales to the point where last year, the store brought in more than $21,000— a big accomplishment when you consider most books sell for $3 or less.

That money that goes directly into library programing.

Joe Saloom, assistant library director, said volunteers like Hussey and The Friends of the Library are an important part of the institution’s operations.

“They’re important to the library because we only have so much staff,” Saloom said. “The community donates books and they’re sold in the bookstore. Those are proceeds for the library. We take those funds and it supports our programs.”

Hussey will tell you she’s always loved books and she would have pursued a career as a librarian. Instead, she became an accountant.

“I still love books and I still love libraries,” Hussey said. “I think libraries play an important part in the community and if we don’t support them, a lot of things would go away that people depend upon.”

Hussey spends hours a week sorting books that have been donated to the library system and rotating books that haven’t sold quickly enough off the shelves.

“It’s addictive, working with the books. I would come every day if I didn’t have family life and other things to do,” Hussey said.

Saloom added that Hussey is one of the library’s most dedicated volunteers.

“She’s really into her mission and she loves books. Her efforts fund what goes on here,” he said.

The Flagler County Library System is looking for more volunteers like Hussey.

“If you already know and love the library, then you know it has a very comfortable atmosphere. It’s a great place to spend a couple of hours,” Chief of Special Projects and Library Director Holly Albanese said in a news release. “The time commitment is minimal - two or three hours per week (minimum of three months) - but the rewards are great, like the undying gratitude of both staff and patrons.”

Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Positions are designed to match volunteers’ skills, interests and schedule. Assignments can change and open positions vary.

Assignments can include, but are not limited to, greeting patrons at the welcome desk, shelving materials, manning the children’s information desk, assisting with book sales in the bookstore and helping with general research and computers.

“This is a great way to meet people and have fun while you learn more about what the library has to offer,” Albanese said. “For those without a lot of work experience, it’s a great way to build on that experience and enhance job skills.”

The application process is simple: Fill out the form available on the library’s “Get Involved” webpage and return it to the Flagler County Public Library, 2500 Palm Coast Parkway, in Palm Coast. Applications may also be emailed to reference@flaglercounty.gov or faxed to 386-446-6773.

To submit someone for the Getting Results Award, fill out the form below.

About the Author:

Paul is a Florida native who graduated from the University of Central Florida. As a multimedia journalist, Paul enjoys profiling the people and places that make Central Florida unique.