Briggs Volunteer Awarded

Volunteer Ardath Larson
Publication date: 
January 30, 2017

For some people volunteering isn't really work. It's a way of experiencing more things. Ardath Larson, Briggs Library's Donations Collection management Volunteer, was recently honored with a Stevens County Pay It Forward award in recognition of her decades-long service to the community.

"Volunteering is what I call sticking your toe in a different ocean," Larson said.

On any given day you can usually find Ardath in her third floor Briggs Library office going through recently donated items to decide what gets included in the annual Rodney A. Briggs Library Associates book sale and what will be added to the general collection. You might also find her at the Stevens County Historical Museum working on any number of projects where she also volunteers. In addition, during the warmer months she also volunteers at the WCROC horticultural gardens. All this volunteering is on top of being a cataloger for almost 40 years at Briggs Library, where she repeatedly came out of retirement to help when staff was short-handed or to assist in other ways.

Growing up on a farm with parents who volunteered helped set the stage for her own work ethic and giving perspective. It was a very natural thing to do.

"Being busy all the time was just that Scandinavian Western Minnesota thing you do to stay active," she explained. "If you've got a block of time you might as well try something that seems interesting."

It might be hard to tell, but Ardath has learned to say no or at least say she will only do so much when it comes to volunteering and helping out. She is retired after all and doesn't want to spend her retirement always working. Concerning her recent award and accolades is very pragmatic.

"I'm not one of those people who lives for recognition," Larson said. "Satisfaction is in the doing."

One gets the real sense that she will keep on doing as long as the work is interesting.  

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