LANSING, Mich. — You don’t have to travel far to find a treasure. In fact, it’s probably right in your local library. The Capital Area District Libraries runs 13 branches across the Lansing area, including one in Mason. Inside each of the libraries are this week’s Good Neighbors.
Heather Batter says she spends much of her free time at the Capital Area District Library Mason branch.
“I have loved libraries since I was a kid. They always felt like a safe space to go," Batter said. "I've always loved reading, and I remember going to the library and having the big newspapers on the poll. And I love the car catalog.”
Batter is just one of the many volunteers that donate their time to ensure the 13 branches of the Capital Area District Libraries run smoothly.
Heather Goupil is the head librarian at the Mason branch. Goupil says volunteers like Batter are an essential part of all libraries.
“I would not be able to do a lot of the programs that I do every year, like the fishing basic seminar program for children. I would not be able to provide free new books during Mason’s Download Days or the Spring Fling, really any of our community events. We just don't have the budget to do these extra things that help us reach out to the community and keep connecting. But, with volunteers helping us, we can answer so many needs that maybe we've gone answered,” Goupil said.
Libraries are not what they used to be. It’s still a quiet place to get away and get lost in a book, but they offer much more than just the latest best seller.
The Mason branch even has a special “things” collection.
“You can even check out fishing polls along with tackle box kits. So, all you need to do is find a fishing spot and maybe find some bait.”
Batter says the Mason branch also has a used bookstore, which is also run by volunteers.
“We work with the library staff to spruce it up and make it feel like a bookstore, and a place you want to come and hang out and get great books," Batter said. "I just got this book for 50 cents. I mean, where else do you go to get books for 50 cents or a dollar?”
Like many of the books on the shelves at the Capitol Area District Libraries, the volunteers are well-read and well-loved. And for that, we want to thank you and honor this week’s Good Neighbors, the Capital Area District Libraries' volunteers.
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