For this Arlington Library volunteer, giving his time amounts to play

Steve Glaze found his calling as a volunteer for Sno-Isle Libraries and active member of the Friends of the Arlington Library.

Steve Glaze volunteers at the Arlington Library and belongs to the Friends of the Arlington Library. His time there makes him as happy as a kid in a sandbox.

He’s one of the many volunteers who help keep Sno-Isle Libraries operating smoothly day to day.

The Los Angeles native said he’s always had a passion for books, thanks to his father, and he appreciated the dedication his mother gave to volunteer causes.

Glaze, 61, and his wife, Linda, moved to Arlington six years ago. He retired after working 30 years for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power as a billing analyst. He had free time in a new community.

“I knew I wanted a part-time job,” he said.

Glaze volunteered with the Arlington Community Food Bank and Cascade Valley Hospital. One day in early 2017, he visited the Arlington Library during a Friends of the Arlington Library book sale.

He remembered his passion for books and his mom’s passion for volunteering. So he signed up to volunteer for Sno-Isle Libraries and joined the Friends of the Arlington Library. He roughly paraphrased famed bank robber Willie Sutton and said, “Where’s the place with all the books?”

As a Sno-Isle Libraries volunteer, Glaze wheels a cart through the rows of books, CDs and DVDs at the Arlington Library with a list of titles to fill customer requests (also known as “holds”).

For the Friends of the Arlington Library, he helps stock the ongoing book sale at the library and helps at the Friends’ monthly book sales and bake sales. Funds from those sales support programming and other library needs. “Friends” groups are separate from the library, but dedicated to support it.

Glaze’s dedication earned him recognition from the City of Arlington. Mayor Barbara Tolbert presented him with the Mayor’s Volunteer Award on July 15. Through July, Glaze has volunteered 187 hours for Sno-Isle Libraries and 225 hours for the Friends of the Arlington Library.

He encourages people to get involved in their community by helping however they can.

“Volunteer for something you have an inkling for,” Glaze said. “There are lots of volunteer opportunities. Check the internet. Lots of places need help. Volunteer for something you like to do.”

Sno-Isle Libraries has nearly 700 volunteers offering their service in 23 community libraries and the district service center, said Christine Stansfield, Sno-Isle Libraries volunteer and community engagement coordinator.

“Volunteers play an important role in helping Sno-Isle Libraries deliver our mission to provide free access to public library materials and services,” Stansfield said. “Volunteers are also some of our best champions for libraries in our communities.”

Sno-Isle Libraries offers an online volunteer application form, or prospective volunteers can get a volunteer application and background check form at any Sno-Isle Libraries community library. Volunteers age 13 and under must be supervised by a parent/guardian.

Glaze likes what he does now in his spare time at the Arlington Library. “This is my adult sandbox where I get to play.”