It’s National Volunteer Week 2018, and we want to celebrate the important role of volunteers at Queens Library!

All this week, we will share stories of our volunteers on our blog. Thank you to them, and to every Queens Library volunteer, for their service!

This year, Queens Library decided to create the Go the Extra Mile (G.E.M.) Volunteer Award to celebrate our volunteers that go above and beyond in their service and embody the library’s mission “to transform lives by cultivating personal and intellectual growth and by building strong communities.”

Three of our volunteers received Fall 2017 G.E.M. Volunteer Awards and three have been recognized as Honorable Mentions.

Today, we’re introducing you to G.E.M. Volunteer Award winner Marios Kafantaris, a Library Aide at Kew Gardens Hills Community Library.

Marios is expanding the traditional definition of Library Aide at the Kew Garden Hills branch. Rather than assisting with shelving and organizing books and magazines, he is helping seniors and older adults discover and navigate the digital world.

With his background in computer science, Marios has greatly contributed by assisting the library’s computer specialist to offer a Microsoft Word program for local residents.

“Our older adults are pleased with his patience and teaching method. He goes over each lesson, step by step, to ensure our older adults are comfortably utilizing Microsoft Word on their own," says Kew Gardens Hills Community Library Manager Susan Paredes. “The outcome is successful and our participants are growing comfortable with the use of our laptops and other equipment explored in this program.”

Marios has consistently demonstrated a willingness to always be prepared and ready to take on any challenges, including giving advice and tips for patrons eager to learn about applications such as Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.

“He is always self-motivated and eager to take on any tasks needed without any delay," Susan adds. “He even helps keep the workroom nice and tidy.”

Congratulations, Marios, and thank you for going above and beyond to teach others!