Volunteer Policy

Last Updated Date
Policy Type

PURPOSE

The Meridian Library District Volunteer Program is designed to expand and enhance public service to the community in support of the library’s mission. The Meridian Library District may utilize the helpful services of interested volunteers to supplement the work done by library staff but not replace employees or employee positions. Volunteer service aids the library in making the best use of its fiscal resources.

COORDINATION

A District-wide Volunteer Coordinator maintains the Volunteer Program, recruits and on-boards volunteers, sets goals and guidelines, and provides support to library staff to ensure consistent collaboration across library service points. Volunteers also serve under the daily direction of departmental staff at applicable locations.

VOLUNTEER DEFINITION

A volunteer is an individual who is 12 years of age or older, who contributes time, energy, and talents directly to the Meridian Library District without payment or the expectation of payment. Children under 12 years of age will need special approval from the Volunteer Coordinator, Assistant Director, or Library Director to volunteer, and should volunteer with/alongside another responsible party over the age of 12. All volunteers act in accordance with the policies of the library.

BECOMING A VOLUNTEER

The process to become a volunteer is important to the success of each volunteer and the quality of service provided to the library. Volunteers serve the library with approval from and at the complete discretion of the Volunteer Coordinator, Library Director, or Assistant Director.

  1. Volunteer Form: The library requires volunteers to fill out and submit an online Volunteer Form for the purpose of volunteer screening and keeping records in accordance with library policies. Paper volunteer forms can be made available for prospective volunteers with special circumstances. Submitting a Volunteer Form does not guarantee volunteer placement.
  2. Placement: Volunteers are invited to join the volunteer team based on their availability, skills, interests, and qualifications in relation to the needs of the library at any given time. Volunteer opportunities become available based on library needs and availability of staff to supervise. If selected, volunteers will be contacted for a volunteer orientation or interview and may be subject to a background check.
  3. Equal Opportunity: Volunteers are selected to serve the library without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, or military status.
  4. Parent/Guardian Consent: Volunteers under 18 years of age should obtain permission from their parent/legal guardian if they wish to volunteer in a formal volunteer role at the library. In these cases, volunteers will submit a Guardian Consent Form. Individuals under 18 years of age do not need parent/guardian permission to participate in library programs that may involve informal service activities, such as program set-up, take-down, or focus groups. Parents/guardians should bring questions to the Volunteer Coordinator.
  5. Training and On-Boarding: The library supports efforts to set volunteers up for success. Volunteers are required to review important information, procedures, and online learning tools that relate to their role and complete any training deemed necessary before beginning new volunteer tasks.. Training sessions are subject to staffing availability to coach volunteers while ensuring sufficient desk coverage at library locations. Staff may be available to volunteers for occasional check-ins, but if volunteers are in need of additional support, they can discuss special training needs with the Volunteer Coordinator.

VOLUNTEER EXPECTATIONS

Volunteers deserve to volunteer in a safe and welcoming environment where they are appreciated for their time and service to the library. As valued members of the library’s teams, volunteers are expected to promote and maintain exceptional levels of customer service while representing the library to the public.

  1. Conduct
    Volunteers will be familiarized with library policies. Volunteers shall follow all policies of the library, be attentive to their assigned tasks, practice personal safety at all times, and to respect the library’s technology, property, resources, and the privacy and confidentiality of patrons, staff, and volunteers. Volunteers may be permitted to access private staff offices only with expressed permission by library staff onsite. Volunteers are encouraged to utilize spaces designated for volunteers to store volunteer belongings. Volunteers should bring concerns or questions to the Volunteer Coordinator or Location Manager

  2. Attendance and Absences
    The library values and appreciates the time of each volunteer. The Volunteer Coordinator will collaborate between each volunteer and location staff on scheduling.Volunteers are expected to complete scheduled shifts, but if a volunteer is unable to serve a scheduled shift, the library must be notified with as much advance notice as possible. Failure to notify the library or excessive absences may cause the library to reevaluate the volunteer’s service with the library.

  3. Timekeeping and Shifts
    Volunteers will record volunteer hours by signing-in and out for shifts. If an electronic timekeeping system is not available, volunteers may use a paper log or submit their hours to the Volunteer Coordinator or applicable Location Manager to enter manually. Volunteers will be provided with a way to identify themselves as a volunteer during their shift in accordance with the library’s safety and security procedures.

  4. Harassment
    Volunteers are required to read and review the library’s Harassment Policy. The District prohibits verbal, visual, physical, and sexual harassment, including unwelcome conduct directed toward a person’s gender, race, color, citizenship, age (40 and over), disability, religion, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or military status that substantially interferes with a employee and volunteer work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Any volunteer who believes a form of harassment has occurred must report it immediately to the supervisor on duty, the Human Resources Department, and/or the Volunteer Coordinator.

VOLUNTEER ROLES

Each volunteer is provided with a volunteer opportunity description, or outline of helpful volunteer tasks that support the library’s Strategic Goals. Volunteer opportunities may include assisting staff with library services, programs, events, or outreach visits in the community.

  1. Tasks
    Volunteers assist with supplemental tasks only assigned to them by library staff. Volunteers do not perform critical tasks only delegated to paid employees. These may include: accessing library card account systems or patron records, assisting patrons with library card account questions, driving library-owned vehicles, using employee computers at public-facing service desks, making supplies purchases on behalf of the library, and performing volunteer tasks inside library buildings without library staff on the premises.

  2. Offsite Opportunities
    Some volunteer positions involve assisting library staff on visits in the community, which may require riding along inside library vehicles with staff members. Volunteers will sign and submit a Ride-Along Request and Ride-Along Liability Waiver prior to when the volunteer will need to ride in library vehicles to an outreach location. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older to ride inside library vehicles. Volunteers do not drive or operate library-owned vehicles. In the event a passenger seat is not available for a volunteer to ride with staff to an outreach location, the volunteer may choose to coordinate their own personal transportation to the offsite location.

  3. Library Materials

    Volunteers, through their roles, are directly involved in providing access to library materials. As such, volunteers must closely review the Collection Development Policy, as they can expect to come into contact with a variety of materials in the library’s collection. The library does not monitor or filter the types of library materials a volunteer may handle while performing volunteer duties.

Volunteers are encouraged to discuss concerns they may have about their assigned tasks or quality of their training and supervision.

CONCLUSION OF SERVICES

Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to create a contract between the volunteer and the Meridian Library District. Both the volunteer and the Meridian Library District have the right to terminate the volunteer’s association with the library at any time, for any reasons or no reason, with or without cause.

Other Important Notes:

  • Meridian Library employees are not permitted to volunteer for Meridian Library programs, events or general opportunities.

  • General liability coverage is provided for volunteers operating within the scope of their assigned job duties.

  • The Volunteer Program facilitates programs and initiatives to recognize volunteers for their service.


Approved by the Meridian Library District Board of Trustees on October 19, 2022

Revised October 14, 2022

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