Volunteer Spotlight: Q&A with Catherine Robichaux

Why do you love volunteering for the Friends of HPL?

It is a joy to combine two of my favorite things, books and working with other volunteers.  I get to see so many books I never knew about.  And they get back in the hands of book lovers through the loving hands of the Friends of the HPL volunteers.  We socialize as we scan and sort.

What is your favorite volunteer role?

Working with other volunteers and sorting the books for a book sale.  Training and working with groups of volunteers is a special treat.  The book sale days are filled with helping others who love books.  Helping them is fun.  Their enthusiasm is contagious.

What is your favorite book?

I don’t have one favorite book.  I love so many of them.  I like inspirational books that feature people who overcome their own obstacles and help others.  I have read many of the books by Louisa May Alcott.  I like books with strong female roles, such as the Mrs. Polifax books, by Dorothy Gilman.  I also enjoy books that encourage positive and calm feelings through simple actions.  A book I am reading now is “Five Good Minutes in the Evening” by Jeffrey Brantley and Wendy Millstein.  A dear friend, who lives in Austin, and I are sharing what we read through texting and by phone.  I found this book through my volunteering at the Friends of the HPL book warehouse.

What has been the most interesting thing you’ve seen while volunteering for the Friends of HPL?

I worked with some middle school student volunteers.  The book of suggested baby names and what they mean was a favorite that I saw in the hands of several students.  Somehow I understood that the meaning of their names and those of family and friends was sparking their interest.  I gave it to their teacher for their classroom library and suggested she put a dictionary next to it.

Tell me a favorite story about volunteering at a book sale.

I saw a father and young daughter sitting together reading a book and thought it was a special “Kodak” moment.  I asked for the father’s smart phone and took a picture of them.  I have also seen kids of all ages just sit down and start enjoying books in the aisles.