This column often mentions the important role volunteers play in providing library, information, meeting facilities and programs to Cannon Beach, Arch Cape and other North Coast communities.

The library members make a point of the contributions of volunteers frequently, but especially so at the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon — this year held last Wednesday at the Chamber of Commerce Community Hall.

Catered by Season’s Café, library members and volunteers celebrated 102 volunteers, a record number, who contributed 8132.5 hours of their time and talents to keeping the library running smoothly while expanding available programming and services. The volunteers contribute the equivalent of what four fulltime paid employees might provide, which strains the budgets of many city governments.

In addition to a great lunch and conversations, volunteers won two tickets to Get Lit in Cannon Beach, a program in which the library is participating this year. Others received two gift cards from the Driftwood and the Bistro and one gift card from The Irish Table and from Pelican Brewing.

Volunteering at the library brings benefits beyond the mythical “free lunch.” Most volunteers — whether working on the desk with patrons, cataloging books, sorting shelves, stocking the book sale room or participating in programming communitees — find the library a perfect introduction to a large group of area residents. This is especially the case for people new to the North Coast. At the library they quickly form lasting friendships in their new community.

Involvement at the library introduces such local authors as Peter Lindsey who, as part of Get Lit, will read from his latest book, “Movin’ the Water Around: Commercial Trolling with the Cannon Beach Dory Fleet.” Catch his presentation from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 5, at the library, 131 N. Hemlock St.

Or, again at the library, the Friends of Haystack Rock will host Joe Liebert, of the Portland Audubon Society, in a presentation on Oregon’s black oystercatchers. Part of The World of Haystack Rock Series, Liebert will speak Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m.

Or, also at the library, the Northwest Author Series, presents Portland novelist and former journalist Dana Haynes reading from and discussing his many thrillers, Saturday, April 13, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. In 2010, “Crashers,” Haynes’ first thriller, received the Spotted Owl Award from Friends of Mystery as the best mystery or thriller by a Northwest writer.

Or, catch “FisherPoets Return” at the library, Monday, April 25, at 7 p.m. Clem Starck will read from his latest book and be accompanied by Jon Broderick and Jay Speakman, who also will present some of their songs. The last FisherPoets show earlier this spring rocked an overflow crowd at the library.

Finally, On Wednesday, April 17, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the Cannon Beach Reads group will discuss John Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row.” The cast of characters in this classic contains well-intentioned scoundrels, misfits and deadenders, all of them trying to please Doc, the local collector of scientific specimens.

All of these events are open at no cost to the public so there is no excuse for missing these opportunities nor for missing community-building volunteer activities at your local library. Ask Marjorie MacQueen why she volunteers so many hours. Ask Marjorie MacQueen, a dedicated volunteer given to ordering and cataloguing new books as well as helping patrons check out favorite new titles, of which a bunch have just arrived.

These include eight mysteries, seven fiction titles and six non-fiction books, several of which this column will discuss in the next few months. Particularly enticing are: “El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America,” by Carrie Gibson; “Genesis: The Deep Origin of Societies,” by Edward O. Wilson, and “Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts,” by David E. McCraw.

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