Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{November 15, 2010}   Cell Phones and Volunteers

What was life like without cell phones? I’m not an addict and I don’t own a crackberry, but when I run out of the house for a quick trip to the  grocery for milk and bread and leave it on the counter, I do question whether I should go back to get it.

I make it a best practice in volunteer management to not give out my personal cell phone number to our volunteers, but there have been a few that have crossed into the friendship realm of my life that I do like to stay in touch with. I also have a volunteer who is dedicated and comes to the office every day from 9-11. If I’m out in the community or the other building, she always sends me a text asking me where I’m at or to inform me that one of my scheduled appointments are early.

Our policy on volunteers using cell phones is relaxed. We ask that volunteers place their phones on low or vibrate. They can take or answer calls and texts but must keep them brief. If it’s lengthy, they just remove their volunteer badges and blend in with the patrons and then get back to their tasks. We are a connected society anymore. At the grocery store, we don’t really need to know what pop tarts the kids like, but we can place a call and find out right away as we are standing in aisle 11.

I just saw on the news today that email is being surpassed by texting and data plans on cell phones. With volunteers you don’t want to limit any form of communication especially when you manage intergenerational groups. Be ready to communicate by phone, email, letter, social networking, face to face, texting and cells~ and all in the same day!

Who would have thought that the words “Mr Watson- Come Here-I want to see you”  spoken in 1876 by Alexander Grahm Bell would change the world as it has?


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