Library Volunteer Awarded for Service

Library volunteer Joella Brown took home the “Inspiring Generations” award at the 2012 United Way of Greater Topeka Volunteer Awards (VAL) banquet June 26. She was among 12 award-winners.

Joella instills a love of reading in the lives of thousands of young Topekans. She is known as the “queen of children’s storytime” at the library. Joella’s commitment has spanned generations. She volunteers at the Information Desk. She has been volunteering for the past 18 years, usually on Wednesdays. Before that, she worked in the children’s library for 16 years. Her knowledge of the library’s history and her commitment to our community’s youth is extraordinary.

“The children of Topeka knew they had a librarian that loved them and would help each one find that special book just for them. Through her volunteering at the library, Joella continues to help those children who have now grown into adults and are bringing their own children to the library,” said Rob Banks, Chief Operations Officer.

Joella is a tireless advocate for the library and frequent contributor to the Topeka Capital-Journal’s editorial page on the value of the library. The Capital-Journal reported on the United Way volunteer awards. See story here. See photo gallery of the VAL awards.

Kari Zimmerman, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Volunteer Coordinator, nominated Joella. Those interested in volunteering at the library, can contact Kari at 580-4490 or fill out the online volunteer application form.

United Way hosts this annual event to “boast about the amazing people who give back with their time and talent. Each group of individuals recognized will receive a plaque and a heart-felt thank you from their community. Our volunteer panel has received the nominations and carefully selected those volunteers who are the absolute top of their field,” according to United Way’s website.

A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.

  • Diana Friend

    Congratulations Joella! I am so happy for you and the honor United Way of Topeka has bestowed. You have always been an inspiration to me.