Insights + interviews

In Conversation With NLB Volunteer Sharon Au

By  |  0 Comments

National Library Board’s (NLB) Chinatown branch recently turned three, and celebrated with a volunteer appreciation event. We sat down with one of their senior volunteers to find out more.

Mdm Sharon Au began volunteering at library@chinatown in 2013, she first heard about the library at the same interest group and jumped on the chance to be a part of it and now volunteers her service on selected weekday afternoons, or during weekends when she has time off from work. Since mid-2015, Mdm Sharon Au has begun doubling up as a coach to guide the new volunteers during induction programmes and while on duty.

AA: What motivates you to volunteer the library?

SA: Being an avid reader, I enjoy volunteering at the library as it allows me to contribute back to society while bringing me closer to books. I believe in spending time and effort to enrich the community as long as I am physically and mentally fit.

AA: Why volunteer at the library instead of other volunteering causes? Which specific aspect of the library appeals to you?

SA: I have a special place in my heart for the libraries, as I have gained much knowledge from the books that I have read and borrowed. Volunteering at the library is my way of contributing back to NLB, and indirectly give back to the community. Furthermore, I enjoy volunteering at the library as it is unique in terms of its collections. I enjoy reading about Chinese Arts and Culture and sharing my knowledge with other people. I learnt of the volunteering opportunities from my friends at other reading clubs. The flexible volunteering hours matches my working lifestyle, and I can volunteer my service during weekday afternoons (after work at 4 or 5pm), or weekends while I enjoy my shopping at Chinatown. A big factor in my decision to volunteer is the company of fellow volunteers at the library. We behave like one big family, with multiracial volunteers from all walks of life. All of us share the same interest and passion about Chinese arts and culture. I am also a volunteer at the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA), where I help handle cases and conduct counselling.

AA: What do you think is the most important aspect people need to know about your work?

SA: I feel that the most important aspect that people need to know is that it is more than just arranging books on the book shelves. Volunteering at the library allows me to keep active, find good books to read, make new friends with fellow volunteers and helping patrons with their needs. Lifelong learning can be achieved, even though I am still working as an admin executive.

AA: Do you think that volunteering for such a cause adds fulfilment and purpose to your life?

SA: Certainly! As shared earlier, by contributing to NLB, it helps enrich our community (patrons and programme participants) to read and learn continuously. Volunteering is a meaningful activity that allows me to make a difference to society.

AA: Which part of volunteering do you find is the most rewarding?

SA: The most rewarding aspects of volunteering are to successfully helping our patrons to locate their favourite reads, coaching the new volunteers, and getting a closer look at our rich library resources.

AA: What are some difficulties you have encountered when volunteering?

SA: I have not experienced any difficulties during my volunteering stints.

AA: What other activities do you enjoy doing in your free time?

SA: In my free time, I also enjoy visiting and catching up with my relatives and friends.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *