Volunteers are an important extension of the library’s staff. Volunteers perform a wide variety of tasks that are important to the library. As important members of the community, volunteers are expected to act in accordance with library policies and to reflect positive customer service attitudes to all library patrons. The following policy is designed to promote a maximum degree of excellence.

  1. Definition of a Volunteer:
    1. A volunteer shall be considered as any individual 14 years or older, who assists with work done at the Wautoma Public Library, without remuneration. Exceptions to the age requirement may be made by the Library Director.
  2. Selection of Volunteers:
    1. All volunteers are selected based on their qualifications in relation to the needs of the library and based on their ability to commit to a consistent schedule of volunteer hours.
    2. All prospective volunteers are asked to complete an application and have a brief interview with the Library Director or Volunteer Coordinator.
    3. For the sake of the general public and specifically children, a background check will be required.
    4. If there are no volunteer opportunities available, application forms will be kept on file for a period of one year, and the applicant will be called when, and if, a project arises that fits their interests and qualifications.
  3. Statement of Purpose:
    1. The Wautoma Public Library shall use the services of volunteers to:
      1. Supplement the efforts of paid library staff in meeting demands for quality public service.
      2. Serve as a method for encouraging citizens to become familiar with their library and the services being offered.
      3. Serve as a way for citizens to gain meaningful experience, meet new people, and make a difference in their community.
      4. Wautoma Public Library shall make use of the services of interested volunteers to supplement and not replace the work done by staff.
  4. General Provisions:
    1. Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to create a contract between the volunteer and the Wautoma Public Library. Both the volunteer and the library have the right to terminate the volunteer’s association with the library at any time, for any reason, with or without cause.
    2. The Wautoma Public Library will not provide any medical, health, or worker’s compensation benefits for any volunteer. Volunteers will not be eligible to receive any worker’s compensation benefits for injuries sustained while functioning as a volunteer.
    3. Hours of volunteer service will be determined by the Director or Volunteer Coordinator in discussion with the volunteer. For the most part, volunteers work a two-three hour time slot a week. Volunteers are supervised by the Library Director but are under the direction of the staff members on duty.
    4. Traditionally, the library recognizes its weekly volunteers on a yearly basis at a small appreciative gathering. Volunteers truly make a difference at the Wautoma Public Library, and the Library cannot thank its volunteers enough.
  5. Qualifications and Skills:
    1. Flexibility: willingness to perform a variety of projects and tasks.
    2. Communication and listening skills: willingness to ask questions if projects/tasks are unclear.
    3. Dependability: willingness to complete assigned projects/tasks and fulfill volunteer commitment.
    4. Ability to follow instructions, work independently, and focus on fairly detailed tasks.
    5. Ability to work cooperatively as a team with other volunteers and staff members.
    6. Respect for diverse lifestyles, cultures, religions, and values.
  6. Guidelines for Volunteers:
    1. The library depends on its volunteers for a wide variety of tasks which otherwise need to be assigned to library staff. We, therefore, ask volunteers to be reliable in their commitment to the library and to notify the library in advance if they are unable to work their regularly scheduled time slot. In turn, volunteers will be notified immediately on any given day when the library opens late or closes early for any reason.
    2. Volunteers will be required to undergo a training session if needed, as needed.
    3. Volunteers must read the library’s policies and sign the Statement on Volunteer Policies.
    4. Volunteers are responsible for maintaining confidentiality of ALL library information. Failure to maintain confidentiality will result in an immediate release of the volunteer.
    5. Should a volunteer have a grievance with a staff person, another volunteer, or library patron, every attempt will be made to handle the situation through the Library Director.
    6. Volunteers may be used to increase the library’s services.
    7. Volunteers may not be used to establish and maintain new library services.
    8. Volunteers will not be used to replace or reduce the number of paid staff.
    9. Volunteers are recognized as contributors to the goals and services of the library.
    10. The library will, upon request, provide letters of reference for the volunteer, if deemed appropriate.
    11. All personal information about the volunteer is for internal use only.
    12. Written permission will be needed for any volunteer under the age of 18.
    13. Volunteers will not be expected to do anything the staff would not do.

Approved by the Wautoma Library Board 07/05/18 HK updated 3/14/23