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ERIC Number: EJ850548
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul-15
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0363-0277
The Call to Service
Gray, B. Allison
Library Journal, v134 n12 p28-30 Jul 2009
On January 19, 2009, the day before his historic inauguration, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, commemorated Martin Luther King Day by volunteering for various community service projects around the Washington, DC, area. A record number of Americans also participated in the King Day of Service, joining in over 13,000 projects, more than double 2008's 5000 events. Inspired by the economic downturn and the Obamas' influence, volunteerism is on the rise in this country. This past January, the Labor Department released the annual 2008 statistics on volunteering: approximately 26 percent of the population volunteered at least once between September 2007 and September 2008; 23 percent were men and 39 percent women. People ages 35-44 continue to be the most likely to volunteer (31 percent), but the Labor Department noted a rise in teen volunteers ages 16-19, a demographic shift that may be credited to the requirement in many schools that students participate in community service activities. These numbers are sure to grow in the wake of President Obama's interest in making volunteer service universal by engaging more senior citizens in it, offering students credit toward college tuition based on volunteer hours served, and recruiting at-risk youth to volunteer. Now President Obama has called upon libraries to play a key role this summer in getting more Americans involved in community service by taking part in the United We Serve national campaign. As "School Library Journal" reported June 24 on its website, the American Library Association (ALA) and the White House are encouraging libraries to post volunteer opportunities at The program, which focuses on education, health, energy and the environment, and community renewal, launched June 22 and runs through September 11, which for the first time will be marked as a national day of service and remembrance. ALA says that as the initiative develops, it will provide resources to help libraries coordinate volunteer projects. Public libraries can start by updating their volunteerism collection, if they have one, or building one from scratch. In building a volunteer collection, it's important to include resources for volunteer managers as well as potential volunteers. This is especially vital for public libraries that have recently seen an increase in the number of people, especially the newly unemployed, wishing to volunteer at their library. In this article, the author presents a selective list of books and web sites on volunteerism.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A