Suzanne VamplewOccupation: Library Volunteer
From: Owen Sound
Years of Service to Brightshores: 12
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, Pets, Church

Suzanne Vamplew has always been surrounded by books. After retiring from a long career as an elementary school librarian, she joined the volunteer ranks at Brightshores Health System in Owen Sound about a dozen years ago, where she works in the library twice a week.

“I love books. I love being surrounded by books.” And she is, about 2,000 of them at any given time, neatly lining the shelves of the basement library, adjacent to the cafeteria.

Every genre is represented, and all the books are for sale for $1 (though magazines and children’s books are free). “The books are as diverse as the people who kindly donate them.”

Suzanne likes to read a bit of everything. “I like the odd mystery, I like some of the science fiction, I like some of the fantasy, I read a fair bit of the romance, both the historical and modern, so I do read a lot. It’s a basic requirement for a library. If you don’t like reading, you don’t belong in the profession.”

Suzanne is in charge of the book sales, with proceeds going back into the library. She keeps the shelves stocked and helps visitors find what they need. The library is an oasis of sorts for staff and visitors, with sounds of birds chirping peacefully in the background and comfortable leather chairs everywhere. It provides a welcome respite for patients and visitors who may not be in anideal situation.

“Most people, especially in a hospital, are here because they have a problem of some sort and the visitors are here to see somebody they’re probably concerned about. Reading provides comfort, and lets you escape for a few minutes from your worries.”

“I like books, I like working with books, I like helping people find books.”