The Durham Public Library welcomes community volunteers to enhance library service. 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. Volunteers are required 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, helping with library programs or projects, book mending or processing, shelf reading, shelving, and light cleaning or yard work.
Volunteers under the age of 18 require a guardian’s permission. The Library does not accept volunteers under the age of 13.
Volunteer Application, Selection, and Retention
Prospective volunteers must fill out a volunteer application. Applicants ages 18 and up must fill out the Adult Volunteer Application and applicants between 13 and 17 years must fill out the Teen Volunteer Application. The Library will respond to applications within two weeks.
Volunteers are accepted based on their qualifications and the needs of the library at any given time. Volunteers must be approved by library staff prior to performance of assigned tasks. Volunteers can be released from volunteer duties at any time at the discretion of the Library. The volunteer may at any time resign from the volunteer’s service relationship with the library. Notice of such a decision should be communicated as soon as possible to the volunteer’s supervisor.
Community Service and Community Partnerships
Persons who seek a specific number of volunteer hours at the Library to meet a requirement set by an outside agency or school for the performance of community service are subject to the above selection process and all other provisions of this policy. When volunteers are referred to the Library by an outside agency, 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.
Updated: May 2023
For additional information on volunteer qualifications and responsibilities, please see our Guidelines for Public Library Volunteers.