Library Volunteers Welcome!

Strategies for Attracting, Retaining and Making the Most of Willing Helpers

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About the Book

Volunteers are crucial to the daily operation of any library. Finding and retaining the right people, motivating them and matching their skills with projects is challenging. This collection of 30 new essays brings together the experiences of numerous individuals across the U.S., providing ideas, projects and best practices for volunteer recruiting and management.
The contributors—among them library board members, heads of special collections, directors of state library associations, outreach coordinators, archivists and researchers—discuss a broad range of topics in five sections: recruitment and retention; policies and process; mentoring and empowering; placement, programs and responsibilities; and outreach.

About the Author(s)

Carol Smallwood, a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and multiple Pushcart nominations, is the author of journal articles as well as editor of numerous books including one in Poets & Writers Magazine List of Best Books for Writers. A Michigan resident, her experience includes school, public and special libraries.
Lura Sanborn is the instruction & research librarian at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Carol Smallwood and Lura Sanborn
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9780-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2382-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Foreword by James LaRue 1

Preface 3

Part I: Recruitment and Retention

More Meaningful Recognition, Support and Appreciation of Volunteers

(Jeannine Berroteran) 5

Retaining English as a Second Language Tutors for an Adult Literacy

Program at a ­Joint-Use Library (Rayla Hanselmann and Rachel Dellinger) 12

Projects to Increase Teen Volunteer Retention and Get More Done! (Monena M. Hall) 19

Creating Carrots: Promoting Productivity and Motivating Student Workers in Academic Libraries (Patti Gibbons) 26

Finding and Keeping Good Volunteers: From Recruitment to Sustainability (Carla Campbell Lehn) 33

Recruitment (Lindsey F. Smith) 42

Retaining Volunteers: How to Get Volunteers to Stay for the ­Long-Term (Felicia M. Vertrees) 49

Part II: Policies and Process

Why Not a Volunteer Interview? (Jeannine Berroteran) 56

Volunteers and Policy: Working Together for the Support of All (Su Epstein) 63

Going Beyond Shelving: Meaningful Internships for Student and

Academic Library Success (Theresa McDevitt and Judith Hagan Villa) 70

Volunteer Partnerships: Defining Success (Maryann Mori) 79

How to Undermine Your Volunteer Program: A Dozen Ways to Fail (Faye C. Roberts) 87

Job Descriptions: Roadmaps to Success (Faye C. Roberts) 95

Part III: Mentoring and Empowering

Training Tomorrow’s Workforce: Teaching Lifelong Job Skills and

Cultivating Professionalism During Student Employment (Patti Gibbons) 103

Recruit, Retain and Advise: The Role of the ­Librarian-Mentor in the

Volunteer Experience (Keith Phelan Gorman and Kathelene McCarty Smith) 111

Rethinking Volunteerism in the Academic Library: Shifting Attitudes

Toward a Skilled Workforce (Keith Phelan Gorman and Kathelene McCarty Smith) 119

Service Learners: Taking Teens to the Next Level (Chelsie Harris and Miko Osada) 126

Empowered and Empowering: Library Outreach with Older Volunteers (André R. Powe) 145

Recognition (Lindsey F. Smith) 152

Part IV: Placement, Programs and Responsibilities

Teaching Technology with Volunteers in the Library (Justin de la Cruz) 158

Technology Volunteers in the Idea Lab: Fun with Robotics and Computer ­Programming (Justin de la Cruz) 164

Volunteers in Academic Libraries: The Southeastern Louisiana University Experience (Eric W. Johnson and Janie Branham) 171

Maximize Teen Engagement with Highly Skilled Teen Volunteers (Jane Gov) 179

Baby Boomer Volunteers: Make the Best Use of Their Skills (Carla Campbell Lehn) 189

Tapping into Teens (Maryann Mori) 195

Part V: Outreach

Volunteers with Disabilities: How to Make It Work (Carrie S. Banks) 204

Volunteer Handlers and Therapy Dogs: An Innovative Community

Outreach Activity for Libraries (Mary Renck Jalongo and Theresa McDevitt) 213

Case Study: Get Involved: Powered by Your Library—A California Statewide Library Volunteer Initiative (Carla Campbell Lehn) 222

Volunteers in Archives, Special Collections and Special Libraries in

Academic Settings (Tomaro I. Taylor) 231

How to Leverage Library Volunteers for Community Outreach (Felicia M. Vertrees) 239

About the Contributors 247

Index 251

Book Reviews & Awards

“exceptionally well organized and presented”—Midwest Book Review; “A handy anthology of practical advice for institutions looking to build mutually rewarding relationships with volunteers of all stripes, from students to retirees.”—Kate Swisher, Registrar, DuSable Museum of African American History; “This is a valuable resource for any size or type of library with a large volunteer base…or for any library seeking to build their volunteer program. The tips on training volunteers to help with technology training are particularly timely.”—Jenny Brewer, City Librarian, Helen Hall Library, League City, Texas; “If you are searching for a wealth of practical ideas and solutions to working with library volunteers, look no further than this outstanding resource!”—Gloria G. Adams, President, Board of Trustees, Peninsula Library & Historical Society; “This volume provides a wealth of information on using volunteers in your library; from selecting and training, to recognizing and appreciating their efforts; this resource has the answers you need for your volunteer program to thrive.”—Karen Evans, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana.