Local volunteer recognized for 30 years of service

·2 min read

In time with National Volunteer Week, the Strathmore Municipal Library hosted an event to honour its volunteers and to celebrate the most veteran among them.

Pat Frederick was recognized during the event for 30 years of volunteer service at the library. A poster bearing her name and recognition will now hang prominently within the facility.

“I’ll often joke that she volunteered longer than she worked in her life, which is incredible, but it’s very hard to imagine the library without her,” said Rachel Dick Hughes, on-leave director of library services. “We’re definitely going to miss her, she’s been a huge part of the library. She was also part of the inspiration for our visiting library service because she would deliver books to older people in the community who she knew who couldn’t get to the library.”

Frederick began working with the library in 1961, working two three-hour shifts per week. According to Dick Hughes, Frederick only decided to retire fully from service in December 2021.

“It’s been a treasure working with all these wonderful people all these years. I’ve seen a lot of changes — we certainly didn’t have any computers, (they) were unheard of,” said Frederick. “My first job was straightening shelves … and I learned a lot just from seeing those same books twice a week.”

Humbled by the event, Frederick said she didn’t feel she deserved the recognition, though appreciated the gesture, nonetheless.

She explained she got her start with the library after seeing an ad looking for help that was placed in the Strathmore Standard and quickly came to love the job.

“The people made me feel so welcome and I felt as though I was being a help. I wanted to do something to pay back the community for as good as they were to me and this was one way of doing just that,” said Frederick. “I really appreciate everything that everybody has done for me and I’ll never forget them all.”

Dick Hughes said for the occasion, she and her staff wanted to do something special for Frederick, who is apparently something of a local celebrity to the library community.

“Pat resigned in December and we really wanted to do something. Of course, when I approached her about it, she said we didn’t have to, but my staff would mutiny if we didn’t acknowledge her in a really big way,” said Dick Hughes. “Now that it’s National Volunteer Week and we could (meet) in person, we wanted to acknowledge all our volunteers, they are all really valuable, but … I don’t know if we’ll ever see a 30-year volunteer again.”

Though no longer helping with the library, Frederick said she is still an avid reader and continues to sign out books whenever she is able.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting