Volunteer at the Library

Volunteers make the Library a great place! Volunteer support helps the Library be more successful in serving the community. Students, individuals, organizations, and civic groups can all be volunteers.

The purpose of the Lawrence County Public Library's Volunteer Program is to engage persons who donate their time, talents, skills, and enthusiasm in a mutually rewarding partnership with the Library and its staff, who will support the volunteers in their efforts to build a stronger community through library programs, resources, and services. 

If you would like to volunteer with us, please download our volunteer application below, complete it, and return to the library.

About Volunteering

A volunteer shall be considered as any individual, 16 years or older, who assists with work done at the Lawrence County Public Library, without remuneration. Exceptions to the age requirement may be made by the Library Director.

A student intern shall be considered as any middle school, high school or college student who performs volunteer work as part of an authorized school program to earn academic credit. Individual Boy Scouts working on advanced awards are also classified as student interns.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The Lawrence County 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.

·         Staff or support fundraising activities sponsored by the staff and/or the Library, the Friends of the Lawrence County Public Library, or the Lawrence County Public Library Foundation, Inc.

The Lawrence County Public Library shall try to make use of the services of interested volunteers to supplement, rather than replace, the work done by library staff; however, if library funding is insufficient to maintain 40 hours of operations per week, the director is authorized to utilize volunteers to replace work done by paid staff.

RECOGNITION

Recognition is an important component of a volunteer program and is often the only way in which the Library can say “thank you" to a volunteer. Although individual, informal recognition of volunteers should be ongoing, it is important that volunteers be recognized formally as a group on a regular basis, at least annually. The Library staff and Library Board shall find ways of recognizing volunteers throughout the year.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to create a contract between the volunteer or intern and the Lawrence County Public Library or any of the supporting governments. Both the volunteer and the Lawrence County Public Library have the right to terminate the volunteer's association with the Library at any time, for any reason, with or without cause.

Neither the Public Library Board nor the Lawrence County Public Library will provide any medical, health, accident or worker's compensation benefits for any volunteer. Volunteers will not be eligible to receive any worker's compensation benefits for any injuries sustained while functioning as a volunteer.

Prior to engaging in any volunteer activity, each volunteer will be required to submit a Library application form for volunteer work, and visit with the Volunteer Services Coordinator (who is designated by the Library Director) and/or a supervisory staff member. Upon approval of the Volunteer Coordinator, the volunteer may be scheduled for training and work assignments.

Volunteers may be asked to work on projects that are supportive of staff efforts. Examples include: shelving books, returning books, processing new materials, storytelling, helping to prepare for programs, assisting with maintenance of the vertical files, discarding materials, maintenance of periodicals, public relations activities, clerical work, maintenance work, et.al.

Hours of volunteer service will be determined by the supervisory staff member in discussion with the volunteer. If volunteers have set hours, 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 Director or Volunteer Coordinator.

RECRUITMENT AND SUPERVISION OF VOLUNTEERS    

Volunteers will be sought through a variety of methods (newspaper announcement, in-library publicity, requests through volunteer coordination organizations), to meet specific as well as general project needs.

Recruitment shall be the responsibility of the Library Director, the Volunteer Coordinator, the Public Library Board and other assisting agencies.

Volunteers will work directly with library staff members to receive training and complete projects. All volunteers will be assigned one primary staff member to guide them in their work; however, staff members may offer guidance to any of the volunteers.

When appropriate and affordable, the Public Library Board, Friends of the Lawrence County Public Library or the Lawrence County Library Foundation, Inc. may fund the cost of training for volunteers who have made and demonstrated a long-term commitment to the Library. Examples of appropriate training classes are those sponsored by the Alabama Public Library Service or SoliNET and other training opportunities. All volunteers shall be included in the Library’s annual Staff Training Day.

There will be no formal evaluation process for volunteers, unless the volunteer requests such an evaluation. In such cases, the standard personnel evaluation form shall be used.