When you learn that BMA volunteer Debbie Bennett was a pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospital for 18 years, it doesn’t come as a complete surprise, as she has such a caring and calm disposition. However, it is a fact that’s interesting to discover when you have known her as a staff member at Leeds Jane Culbreth Library and find out that she made a career shift years ago. Debbie left nursing to care for family members in 2002 and when she was ready to return to work, she decided to pursue her love of books and reading to search for a position in a library. She was delighted to accept a position in the Jefferson County Public Library System, where she has been since March 2009.
In 2002, Debbie pursued another interest, art history, and she began volunteering at the BMA for the exhibition European Masterpieces: Six Centuries of Paintings from the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia. She quickly found that she loved volunteering at the Museum and was hooked. For 15 years, Debbie has greeted visitors at the information desk every fourth Wednesday of the month. Taking the same care that she did with her patients, Debbie provides a warm welcome to all visitors and helps them make the most of their visit. She describes the Museum as a vibrant atmosphere where she loves greeting and speaking with visitors and being a part of a wonderful team of staff, docents, and volunteers.
Aside from volunteering at the BMA, Debbie has many other hobbies including reading, historic preservation, enjoying music and nature, working with animal rescue groups, and serving as a kitten foster “mom” for the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. She is married with two grown sons and shares a love of art history and historic preservation with her husband. Debbie’s favorite works of art at the BMA include those in the 19th Century European gallery (especially the Monet!) and Japanese prints.
Thank you, Debbie, for your dedication to the Museum and its visitors for 15 years!