Volunteer Policy

The Morrisville Public Library Volunteer Program is designed to expand and enhance public service to the community.  Volunteers are an important extension of the Library’s staff.  Volunteers perform a wide variety of tasks that are important to the institution.  Volunteers are expected to act in accordance with library policies and to reflect positive customer service attitudes to all library patrons.  The following policy is designed to promote a maximum degree of excellence.

Definition of a Volunteer:

A volunteer shall be considered as any individual 14 years or older, who assists with work done at the Morrisville Public Library, without remuneration.  Exceptions to the age requirement may be made by the Library Manager.

Selection of Volunteers:

All volunteers are selected based on their qualifications in relation to the needs of the library and based on their ability to commit to a consistent schedule of volunteer hours.  All prospective volunteers must complete an application and have a brief interview with the Library Manager.  If there are no volunteer opportunities available for some reason or another, application forms will be kept on file for a period of one year.

Statement of Purpose:

The Morrisville Public Library shall use the services of volunteers to:

  • Supplement the efforts of paid library staff in meeting demands for quality public service.
  • Serve as a method for encouraging citizens to become familiar with their library and the services being offered.
  • Serve as a way for citizens to gain meaningful experience, meet new people and make a difference in their community.

Morrisville Public Library shall make use of the services of interested volunteers to supplement and not replace the work done by staff.

General Provisions:

Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to create a contract between the volunteer and the Morrisville Public Library.  Both the volunteer and the Library have the right to terminate the volunteer’s association with the Library at any time, for any reason, with or without cause.

The Morrisville Public Library will not provide any medical, health, or worker’s compensation benefits for any volunteer.  Volunteers will not be eligible to receive any worker’s compensation benefits for injuries sustained while functioning as a volunteer.

Hours of volunteer service will be determined by the Library Manager in discussion with the volunteer.    Volunteers must be able to commit a minimum of two hours per week for at least three months.  Volunteers are assigned during library hours and are supervised by the Library Manager but are under the direction of the staff member on duty.  Volunteers are expected to arrive at the library in time to begin work as scheduled or call the library if they will be absent.  All volunteer work must be completed within normal library hours.  Exceptions may be made by the Library Manager.

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Flexibility: willingness to perform a variety of projects and tasks.
  • Communication and listening skills: willingness to ask questions if projects/tasks are unclear.
  • Dependability: willingness to complete assigned projects/tasks and fulfill volunteer commitment.
  • Ability to follow instructions, work independently and focus on fairly detailed tasks.
  • Ability to work cooperatively as a team with other volunteers and staff members.
  • Respect for diverse lifestyles, cultures, religions and values.

Guidelines for Volunteers:

  1. The Library depends on its volunteers for a wide variety of tasks which otherwise need to be assigned to library staff.  We therefore ask volunteers to be reliable in their commitment to the library and to notify the library in advance if they are unable to work their regularly scheduled time slot.  In turn, volunteers will be notified immediately on any given day when the library opens late or closes early for any reason.
  2. Individuals are asked to wear a volunteer badge that identifies them as a volunteer while they are working at the library.  Volunteers (except those trained by the Library Manager) are expected to refer all requests for information to the library staff on duty, other than purely directional questions (e.g. where is the bathroom, where is the children’s room etc.)
  3. Volunteers will be required to attend training sessions if needed, as needed.
  4. Volunteers will make note of time donated on a monthly timesheet.
  5. Should a volunteer have a grievance with a staff person, another volunteer or library patron, every attempt will be made to handle the situation through the Library Manager.
  6. Volunteers may be used to increase the Library’s services.
  7. Volunteers may not be used to establish and maintain new library services.
  8. Volunteers will not be used to replace or reduce the number of paid staff.
  9. Volunteers should expect to fulfill a commitment agreed upon with the Library.
  10. Volunteers are recognized as contributors to the goals and services of the library.
  11. Volunteers are responsible for maintaining confidentiality of ALL library information.  Failure to maintain confidentiality will result in immediate termination of the volunteer.
  12. The Library will, upon request, provide letters of reference for the volunteer, if deemed appropriate.
  13. Procedures and requirements for the volunteer will vary with the age of the volunteer.
  14. All personal information about the volunteer is for internal use only.
  15. Written permission will be needed for any volunteer under the age of 18.
  16. Volunteers will not be expected to do anything the staff would not do.
  17. Discriminatory or racist incidents will not be tolerated.
  18. Volunteers are prohibited from being under the influence of, using, possessing, selling or otherwise being involved with illegal substances and alcohol.
  19. Volunteers must adhere to the Library’s dress/hygiene code, rules of conduct, drug & alcohol, and sexual harassment policies.

Tasks That May Be Performed By a Volunteer:

  1. Shelf reading (mandatory)
  2. Shelving materials (mandatory)
  3. Monitoring library facilities (mandatory)
  4. Helping with library programs or projects
  5. Light cleaning assignments
  6. Answering the telephone
  7. Basic reference work
  8. Working the circulation desk (if proper training is completed)
  9. Special events
  10. Placing “holds calls”
  11. Clerical tasks
  12. Creating displays and bulletin boards
  13. Public relation activities
  14. Discarding materials
  15. Processing new materials

Training and Supervision:

The Library Manager coordinates the volunteer program.  Volunteers will receive specific training in their assigned duties from the Library Manager or staff member allocated by the Manager.  All reasonable care will be taken to ensure the safety of volunteers.

Community Service:

Persons who seek volunteer assignments at the Morrisville Public Library to meet a requirement set by an outside agency for the performance of community service shall be subject to the above selection process and all other provisions of this policy.

Equal Opportunity Policy:

The Morrisville Public Library maintains a strong equal opportunity policy.  Volunteers are recruited, placed, trained, recognized and dismissed on the basis of competence and job performance, without regard to race, creed, religion, gender, sex orientation, age, national origin, marital status, disability or political affiliation.

Adopted on January 18, 2011

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