Policy on Volunteer Assistance
The Chambers County Library System, by its nature as a public library system, offers to volunteers an opportunity to work in a public environment that is comfortable and safe. Volunteer services are always needed by the library system due to the wide variety of tasks that must be done, and the lack of adequate staff to pursue those with lower priority.
Potential volunteers, whether they are library patrons, children, students working for service points, or community service clients, must be aware that there are certain basic requirements set by the library system that must be met for us to accept volunteers.
Acceptance of a volunteer is at the sole discretion of the Branch Librarian.
At the interview with the Branch Librarian, a schedule will be set up to the mutual agreement of the Librarian and the volunteer. If the volunteer is unable to keep to that schedule, the Librarian must be contacted before the scheduled time. After two missed scheduled dates, the volunteer must understand that the agreement will be terminated.
During the initial interview, the volunteer must understand that work to be performed may involve a variety of physical tasks, including reaching above one's head, bending to the floor, picking up large books, moving heavy carts. Projects may include cleaning projects, such as washing shelves. Library work is very physical, and that is not always clear to the public on first glance.
Volunteers are expected to perform to a certain standard. Work cannot be adequately done if there are interruptions from visitors or from cell phones. If a cell phone must be brought to the library, it must be given to the staff to keep in the office. If friends happen to be visiting the library while volunteers are working, a short greeting is always permissible, but the friends must be given the message that the work time is library time.
If it is necessary to conduct an extended conversation, whether in person or with a phone, then that time is considered break time, and will be deducted from the service hours.
Volunteers are a great help to the library system, but only if they can perform the work. If a volunteer cannot understand the instructions on the job to be performed, if the work is sub-standard, or if other problems are encountered in the course of the volunteer service, then the volunteer will be asked to leave.
Volunteers of all types are classed as Library Page help, and will be given a copy of the Library Page Handbook at the start of their work, so that they may learn more about library work.
Approved, Library Advisory Board, August 12, 2008