Walk into Central Library on a Wednesday morning and you’re likely to be greeted with a warm smile from Jackie Portelance. In her role with the Library’s Early Literacy Volunteer Corps (ELVC), Portelance’s responsibilities include shepherding youngsters to storytime with a firefighter at Engine 23 (the Library’s fire truck exhibit), encouraging safe play, and sharing early learning principles with families.
“Volunteering is an uplifting part of my day,” Portelance says. “I think it’s very fulfilling, and I think it’s something everybody should experience.” Jackie started volunteering at the Library in October 2016, after retiring from her job as a chartered accountant. “I never had the time to volunteer when I was working, and I knew I wanted to give back to the community when I retired,” she says.
Her lifelong love of reading led her to the Library, and she now volunteers with the ELVC, Computer Technology Coaching, and Special Events. ELVC members volunteer in the Library’s Early Learning Centres, designed to engage children ages five and under in play-based learning.
At Central Library, Portelance loves the wide-eyed look from children when they first see Engine 23—or a firefighter—in the library. It’s exhilarating to be around youngsters’ enthusiasm and imagination, Portelance says. “No matter the day, something happens that makes me smile and laugh.”
If you’d like to join the Library’s team of volunteers, please call Volunteer Resources at 403.260.2632 or apply online.