Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{November 19, 2009}   Knowing the Library

The Volunteer Manager of a library needs to know just about everything they can about the library, how it works, who does what and where to go to for the answers. The Volunteer Manager has their hand right on the pulse of the people and the staff and establishing good relationships with both is key to a successful volunteer program. We have quite a few volunteers who shelf for us, so you won’t be surprised to see me out there shelving away to better understand how to train, what it’s like on the front line and ways to improve how volunteers can help us. I won’t have a volunteer do anything I haven’t already tried. When we noticed a lot of gum on our sidewalks, I got a paint scraper from our facilities department and went out there and scraped it up. When I went to sell it as a volunteer opportunity, I told them it was the worse job in the world but it needed to be done! Before you know it, I had a couple teen guys out there scraping away with gloves and scrapers.

Our job as Volunteer Manager is to get help to support our staff. By doing this, we need to make sure we know what the needs are and how it can be accomplished. I want the volunteers to do a good job, THEY want to do a good job. By knowing the library and all that is involved, everyone will feel more comfortable with volunteers helping under your guidance.


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