Volunteer Recognition Day Honors Those Who Contribute Their Time

Donna Potts and Kristen Dube Named Co-Volunteers of the Year

Volunteers contributed more than 10,000 hours of service last year at the South Pasadena Public Library and many were recognized on Friday during a prestigious ceremony.

An estimated 209 volunteers assisted staff at the library in 2013, acknowledged South Pasadena Mayor Marina Khubesrian, M.D., while reading a proclamation presented during the annual Library Volunteer Recognition Day in the library’s community room.

“The hours that volunteers contribute to the library not only help provide services that could not otherwise be offered,” reads part of a proclamation presented by the mayor to the Library Board of Trustees. “They also support the staff behind the scenes, freeing library staff to devote more time directly serving the public and performing duties and presenting programs that would not otherwise be possible.”

Along with proclaiming March 21 as “Library Volunteer Recognition Day,” Khubesrian commended and thanked all library volunteers for their many hours of hard work over the past year.

Co-Volunteers of the Year

During Friday’s program, both Donna Potts and Kristen Dubé were honored for being the library’s volunteers of the year.

Potts was raised in La Cañada, attended John Muir High and Cal Poly, Pomona, but has resided in South Pasadena for 50 years.

She and her husband, Dennis, a retired JPL engineer, have a blended family of four children, and five grandchildren. Potts taught biological sciences at San Gabriel High School for 34 years, was science department chair for many years and was honored as Alhambra District teacher of the year in 1991. She retired in 2005, and began a new phase of life.  She and Dennis enjoy traveling, especially within the United States. Potts also likes to garden and restore the couple’s 106-year-old Craftsman bungalow in the city.

In 2005, Potts began volunteering in the Friends Bookstore as a substitute, and also worked one shift per month.

In addition, in 2006, she began working as a processor for books for the Friends of the Library Bookstore, and soon became vice chair of schedules/minutes on the bookstore steering committee.

She records and distributes minutes of the meetings, and, with other members of the steering committee, makes bookstore policy and procedural decisions, and helps to plan and work at special book sales throughout the year.

Dubé is a lifelong resident of South Pasadena. Some of her earliest memories are visiting the children’s room of the library, sitting under the Leo Politi murals as former city librarian Viola Sirolos helped her find the perfect book.

She started working behind the scenes as a bookkeeper for the Friends Bookstore 15 years ago, a position she still enjoys. Currently, in her final years on the Friends’ Board, Dubé has served as secretary, vice president financial officer-endowments, membership chair, and president.

In 2009, she was treasurer for the successful Yes on Measure L – Library Special Tax campaign.

Dubé has held various leadership roles at Calvary Presbyterian Church, and is currently the office administrator for Calvary Preschool in South Pasadena. From 1995 to 2010, while her two sons were enrolled in the South Pasadena Unified School District, she was active in PTA leadership at the local and district levels.

In her free time, Dubé can be found in the outdoors snow skiing, surfing or hiking.

Dubé is proud of the hard work put in by the Friends of the Library in continuing to furnish the support and resources needed to keep the library strong, and at the heart of the community.

Friday’s event included a brief presentation by keynote speaker and author Charles Fleming, a tribute to Yvonne Voisin, a longtime dedicated library volunteer who passed away in 2013, and recognition of volunteers Kathy Folsom and Kay Rosser, who earned the city’s Image Award last year for their dedicated service to the library over the years.

Keynote Speaker

Fleming is co-author of the autobiography “My Lobotomy,” author of the 1998 national bestseller “High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess,” and the New York Times bestsellers “Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for Serial Sniper” and “A Goomba’s Guide to Life.”

He has reported on the entertainment industry since 1987 for numerous publications, including Newsweek, LA Weekly, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

He is also well recognized for searching out secret staircases after undertaking the effort in writing: “Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to Historic Staircases of Los Angeles” and “Secret Stairs East Bay: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Berkeley and Oakland.”

Remembering Yvonne Voisin

Voisin, former president of the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library and active volunteer for the Friends Bookstore for more than 20 years, passed away March 17, 2013. She had been honored as volunteer of the year by the Library Board of Trustees, served as public chair for both the Friends Restoration Concert series and the Friends’ board of directors.

During the Crunch Time party, a major fundraiser for the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee at the War Memorial Building last December, Khubesrian presented the Image Award to Rosser and Folsom. The prestigious honor is presented each year to groups or individuals who enhance the image of the city beyond its borders.

Image Award

Rosser and Folsom have been instrumental in bringing classical music to the library’s community room as part of the Restoration Concert Series, now in its 18th year, on selected Sundays.

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