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Volunteer Profile:  Brenda K.


Her Story

After Brenda Kolell started volunteering in 2021 as a Children’s program assistant, Children’s librarians Ann and Karen shared that Brenda was fantastic at engaging with the kids and parents and so generous and willing to take on a variety of activities.


This summer the Children’s department were thrilled to work with Brenda during her internship for the Master of Library Information Science program she’s completing through Syracuse University. As intern she assisted patrons at the children's reference desk, created the June and July table activities and School Age STEAM programming and helped with other projects and programs as needed.


Before the internship Brenda worked on a Post Crescent local history documentation project and as a Roaming Ruckus volunteer. In 2021 APL Children’s librarians organized Roaming Ruckus at parks around Appleton. The program offered children the chance to as Brenda put it “explore their creativity without an instruction manual” by interacting with open-ended materials.


To Brenda Roaming Ruckus was an example of community engagement which was what inspired her to pursue a library career. Brenda explains: “I love how libraries are more than just a place to store and receive books and other media and has really evolved into an institution that wants to meet the needs of their community. I also love how much of the programming goes beyond the walls of the library.”

Brenda favorite pastimes are going to the theater (both stage and movies), playing games with family and friends, and of course, reading. She’s drawn to the fantasy genre, loving works by Rick Riordan, Marissa Meyer as well as the Harry Potter series.


Brenda continues her volunteering with APL through assistance with outreach and programs and in the Materials Management department. We appreciate her enthusiastic service for APL and our community!

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Volunteer Profile:  Joanne K.

Her Story

When APL staff work with Joanne K. it brightens their day! Staff have said: “I appreciate Joanne’s dedication to her volunteer work and she’s always a joy to talk to whenever I see her.” “Joanne is very kind and generous with her time, always looking for ways she can help.”


Joanne’s personal mission is to reach out to people and provide them with hope and inspiration. She frequently chats with people she sees regularly on the bus. At the library a recent highlight was getting to know an elderly woman who frequently stopped by the welcome desk when Joanne was greeting.  At the library on Oneida Street she struck up conversations with fellow patrons who worked on the puzzles with her.  She enjoys forming friendships with other volunteers and library staff.


Currently a holds shelver, Joanne has also assisted in a variety of departments at the library since 2015: preparing patron craft bags for the Children’s department, greeting, buffing DVDs and CDS, and maintaining the pencils and cut paper at the search catalog computer desks. 


Joanne enjoys many creative pastimes.  She creates “hope” cards for Behavioral Health units of hospitals in New York City using photos of scenes or images which inspire her, stickers, quotes and Diamond Dots.   She enjoys visiting the Trout Art Museum, photography, diamond painting, paint-by-number, walking, watching PBS shows and pen palling.


Joanne also volunteers as a St. Elizabeth Patient Registration assistant, delivers NAMI brochures to the hospital, and lectors and serves on the Social Concern committee member at St. Joseph’s parish.


The Appleton Public Library is grateful for Joanne’s dedicated volunteer service and the care and support she extends to patrons, volunteers and library staff.

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