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New milestone for Museum volunteers
Value of time contributed by volunteers at Lincoln Presidential Library tops $10 million

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[April 16, 2016]  SPRINGFIELD – The value of time and hard work donated by volunteers at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum reached an amazing milestone this week: $10 million.

Volunteers have provided vital services to the presidential library since it opened 11 years ago. They greet visitors, supervise children’s activities, assist historians, take photos and much more.

They reached the $10 million threshold just in time for National Volunteer Week, April 10-16.

“The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum simply would not be the same wonderful institution without the hard work of our volunteers,” said Nadine O’Leary, the ALPLM’s acting executive director. “Their dedication is a testament to how much the people of Illinois support our mission of honoring President Lincoln.”

Volunteers contribute an average of 40,000 hours of service each year to the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Most of that involves assisting guests at the museum, but volunteers contribute in many other ways, too.

Last year, they worked 3,400 hours at the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project, 2,400 hours with the Oral History Program and 560 hours in the library’s Manuscripts Department.

The ALPLM’s amazing volunteers include:

  • Carolyn Berning, who in 2007 became the first volunteer to work in the Oral History Department. Her work helped set the standards and format for those who followed. Now approximately 30 volunteers help with interviewing, transcribing and editing each month.
  • Dorothea Thrasher and Rick Thrasher, a mother and son who have volunteered since 2005. At 95, Dorothea is the presidential library’s oldest volunteer and was recently nominated for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. Her son is a retired school principal.
  • Brian Replogle, whose volunteer work at the ALPLM led him to a career in volunteer management. His networking at the presidential library and volunteer conferences afforded him the opportunity to become director of volunteers and charity operations at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois.
  • Amy Henrikson, one of the first volunteers assigned to the Papers of Abraham Lincoln. She has transcribed over 1,000 Lincoln documents since 2011.
  • Tom Rozanski, a Champaign resident who drives to Springfield several times a month to volunteer at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

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“Millions of people have visited the museum, conducted research at the library or used our online resources. All of them, whether they knew it or not, benefited from the time and talents of our volunteers,” said Heidi Brown-McCreery, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

The value of the volunteers’ time is based on annual rates agreed upon by national non-profit and volunteer organizations such as Points of Light. The rate used in calculations at the ALPLM is $22.77 an hour.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, a division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology.

The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, including the Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Proclamation, 13th Amendment and Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat. It also serves as the state’s historical library, with some 12 million items pertaining to Illinois history.

The museum is open seven days a week. The library portion of the ALPLM is open free of charge Monday through Friday for research. For details, visit

[Shanta Thoele, Communications and Public Affairs, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]


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