Volunteer Guidelines

Volunteer Guidelines

Approved 03.23.11
Revised 07.08.13

A Volunteer is…

Anyone who, without compensation or expectation of compensation beyond reimbursement, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of Jefferson County Library. Volunteers at the Jefferson County Library must be at least 12 years old or accompanied by a responsible adult while on duty.

Benefits of Volunteering

1. Opportunity to give back to the community

2. Gain experience in a working environment

3. Be a role model for friends, peers, siblings, and young children

4. Feeling of having made a difference and contributing to a community organization

Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Bundling newspapers
  • Cleaning- Materials, shelving, sweeping and picking up trash (both inside and out), computer keyboards, mice and screens
  • Cutting out letters using die machine
  • Emptying outside book drops
  • Filing
  • Handouts - making copies of and then folding or cutting
  • Maintaining/Organizing romance novels
  • Preparing craft projects for Children’s department
  • Preparing library items for removal as directed
  • Preparing soup labels for submission
  • Recycling tasks – gathering, taking out to receptacles; crushing aluminum cans, etc.
  • Removing stickers from library items as directed
  • Shelving materials
  • Shredding
  • Straightening shelves
  • Watering plants

Priority of projects will vary from branch to branch.  Volunteers will be expected to complete assigned tasks before moving on to other available tasks.  Not all tasks will need to be assigned at all times.

Qualifications and Selection

Potential volunteers are required to submit a volunteer application and may be subject to an interview process.  Chosen volunteers may be required to complete an orientation session before working on site.

Some branches require that all volunteers be able to perform basic shelving duties.  As part of their orientation, these volunteers will be required to pass a shelving test before final approval as official library volunteer. If a volunteer is unable to pass the shelving test they will not be able to volunteer at that branch.

Because approved volunteers will be working alongside children and have access to staff areas, those age 18 and older are required to get a background check through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.  The fee for the background check will be refunded if the volunteer successfully completes at least 20 hours of service within the 30 day introductory period.


At the discretion of the volunteer, in cooperation with the Volunteer Coordinator.

Other Requirements

Volunteers must agree to follow all of the Library volunteer policies, guidelines and procedures, including dress code and code of conduct.

Volunteers must have reliable transportation to and from the library.

Introductory Period

There is an initial 30 day introductory period for all new or re-applying volunteers.  Any significant absence will extend the introductory period by the length of the absence.  The introductory period is a training period in which the new volunteer and the coordinator work together so that they may adapt the volunteer’s skills and their abilities to library work.

Dismissal and or Disciplinary action

All volunteer opportunities with the Jefferson County Library are based on mutual consent.  Both the volunteer and the library staff have the right to terminate the position at will, with or without cause, at any time. 

A volunteer whose performance, attitude or personal philosophy of library service does not meet the standards, requirements and philosophy of the Jefferson County Library shall be warned of the inadequacies of his/her performance verbally and/or in writing by the volunteer coordinator. After one warning their volunteer position may be eliminated.

Grounds for immediate dismissal include, but are not limited to, the following actions when the volunteer is on duty and/or on library property:


Public Intoxication or Substance Abuse






Attendance Requirements/Absenteeism

Volunteers are expected to work the hours agreed upon when assigned by the coordinator.

If a volunteer cannot fulfill the commitment to the assigned shift or task, notification should be given to the coordinator, preferably 24 hours in advance. In the case of emergency, notice should be given as soon as possible.

Although this position is unpaid, attendance and punctuality are vital to our daily operation.

Volunteers who do not report for three consecutive scheduled days, without notifying the coordinator, will be considered to have resigned voluntarily.

If the volunteer would like to re-adjust their scheduled hours, they will have to meet with the Volunteer Coordinator to work out new shifts, if they are available.


Volunteers should stay home and rest if they feel ill, have an infectious or contagious illness, or are running a fever. Notice should be given as soon as possible or within the first hour of the workday.

If the volunteer coordinator is not available, ask to speak with another available supervisor.

Staff Work Space

Volunteers are not allowed to be unaccompanied at the children’s desk, reference desk, or story time room unless prior permission has been given. Staff desks, computers, cabinets, phones, and other staff property are off-limits to volunteers unless supervisor consent is given.

Volunteers will be offered a safe place to store their personal belongings if they wish to bring them in during their shift. JCL accepts no responsibility for loss of stolen items.

Personal Appearance

All volunteers are expected to present a clean, neat, and appropriate appearance during their scheduled shifts.  Body hygiene should conform to accepted usage. 

Unacceptable dress includes tank tops and undershirts. Any article of clothing that bares the shoulders, midriff, or any part of the buttocks or breasts when the volunteer is standing, bending, kneeling or reaching overhead is unacceptable. Bare feet or barefoot thongs are unacceptable. Any other article of clothing that the volunteer coordinator determines to be similarly inappropriate in a business workplace is unacceptable.


Volunteers shall not indulge in personal reading while signed in.

Cell Phone

As a demonstration of their commitment, volunteers should silence their cell phone and refrain from making or receiving phone calls or texting while signed in.  If they need to make a call, they should inform the volunteer coordinator so that they can be signed out.  Personal phone calls should be made in the library lobby or outside so that other library users are not disturbed.


Conversations in the workplace that are not concerned with library business should be kept to a minimum.  This includes both conversations with other volunteers, employees, and with patrons. 

Tobacco Products

Jefferson County Library is a tobacco free campus.  Volunteers who choose to use tobacco products may do so only in their own personal vehicles.

Volunteers can expect the Jefferson County Library provide the following:

As a volunteer for the Jefferson County Library, I agree to do the following:

A clearly defined job description with appropriate supervision and direction.

Work a pre-determined number of hours according to a schedule acceptable to my supervisor.

Training on-the-job as required.

When sick or unable to work, notify immediate supervisor as soon as possible.

Respect for the value and activities of the volunteer as well as a cooperative working relationship between staff and volunteers.

Comply with established JCL practices by behaving in an appropriate, businesslike behavior in the workplace environment.

Assistance in evaluating the volunteer assignments and when making necessary changes.

Fulfill the duties outlined in the job description in a professional manner.

A letter of reference may be available on request upon

successful completion of the volunteer assignment.

Take pride in the role of a volunteer and contribute to a mutually cooperative working relationship with staff and other volunteers.