It’s National Volunteer Week, and we want you to meet some of the amazing and inspiring people who volunteer with us! Today, we’re introducing Renata Ware, who works as a Teacher Librarian, volunteers as a Greeter at State Library Victoria, and has an affinity for singing, puns and Possum magic.

‘I volunteer at State Library Victoria as a Volunteer Greeter, but outside of the Library I work as a Teacher Librarian at a girls’ school. My job involves teaching classes of children aged between 3 and 10 years, focusing on a range of library and information skills from enjoyment of literature to finding reputable sources of information. I sing with the Melbourne University Choral Society, and enjoy playing video games and reading. I also love puns and trivia. 

‘When I was studying Information Management, I was sent an ad for the Volunteer Greeter program by my university. It sounded like fun, as I have a background in customer service, so I applied. It was important to me to feel like I was giving back to a community that had supported me, so it seemed like a great opportunity to marry my interests and skills at an amazing and historic institution. 

‘I think that volunteering makes you less selfish, in that you are giving your time to a cause or place that has an impact wider and more lasting than any of us. In our case, the Library has provided learning, support, and shelter for many who may struggle to access the same services anywhere else. Being able to contribute, even in a small way, helps that to continue into the future. The other benefit for me personally is that I have met some incredible people through the Greeter program, from a wide range of backgrounds and experience, who have enriched my life.

‘I have a big fondness for the Possum magic statue that’s currently in the World of the book exhibition on Level 4 in the dome. When I was living and working as an emergency teacher in the UK, I read Possum magic almost every day to different classes to introduce them to Australian animals and food. I also love the cuneiform tablet – it represents such a huge step in the evolution of written language, yet also reflects the eternally prosaic, in that it’s about paying taxes!

‘It might sound cheesy, but I honestly feel very lucky to be able to meet and work with so many interesting, intelligent and talented people. From the visitors to security guards to fellow volunteers to Library Officers and Exhibition Curators, the Library has such a concentration of incredibly capable and knowledgeable people. I feel like I learn something new every shift, and I love being able to be a part of something that provides vital services to our community.’

This article has 3 comments

  1. That’s my beautiful daughter volunteering her time, her grin, her love of life and her gift of the gab, folks – there may be no Greater Greeter going round right now.

    I profess to probably having had a fairly influential role in the punishing pursuit of our mutual predilection for remorseless punning, as well as a personal lifelong – if sporadic – tradition of a triumphant trajectory into the vast tapestry of the pursuit of trivia, and if those two disciplines ever manage to intersect, all the better.

    Be it hardWare or softWare, Renata will always ensure it is shareWare. Get in first and Greet her, folks, it’ll be worth it.

  2. Well done. You are amazing. You come from good blood lines. Your sis Meg is also amazing. X

  3. Brilliant, Renata!! We work coz we have to but volunteer where our hearts say we should xx

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