The Durham Public Library welcomes the use of volunteers to enhance library service to the community. Volunteers provide support services to staff or work on special projects and perform a wide variety of tasks that are critical to the mission of the Library. Volunteers supplement, but do not replace the work done by employees. Although volunteers typically have limited public service exposure, they are expected to act in accordance with library policies and to reflect positive service attitudes to all library patrons.
Individuals are accepted based on their qualifications in relation to the needs of the library at any given time, and their ability to commit to a consistent schedule of volunteer hours. Typical volunteer duties include, but are not limited to, shelving, book mending, and processing materials.
Teen volunteers develop new skills and gain practical library experience as well as learn about the Library’s mission and services. There is a separate application procedure for teens. The Young Adult librarian is responsible for interviewing, selecting and assigning duties to these young volunteers.
Potential projects for “volunteens” include:
- Write teen book reviews or short articles that may be displayed in the Library and/or posted on the Library’s teen blog and Facebook page Design posters and displays to encourage teens to read
- Help Library staff plan programs and events for teens
- Prepare materials for children’s craft programs
- Help the Library maintain attractive grounds. Teams of volunteers are welcome to pull weeds, rake leaves and pick up litter
The library may also choose to accept as volunteers those participating in student community service activities, student intern projects, alternative sentencing, and other volunteer referral programs. In the latter, the supervising organization must provide the details and the responsibility of the arrangement under which volunteers would be placed at the Library, and the name and telephone number of a contact person within the organization. The decision to accept community service volunteers rests with the director.
Applications for adult and teen volunteers are available at the front desk or fill out the application online: Adult Volunteer Application; Teen Volunteer Application.
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