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Volunteer Services

A place for all things volunteer-ish

Volunteer Services Policy

  1. Purpose

This policy explains the volunteer program parameters for Jackson County Library Services (herein referred to as the “Library” or JCLS).

  1. Introduction

The volunteer program exists to create a strong link to JCLS communities by engaging a diverse group of citizens to provide support for Library programs and services. The Library regards the active participation of its volunteers as a valuable resource and asset, and is dedicated to training and effectively utilizing their time.

  1. Recruitment

Volunteer recruitment is conducted without regard to age (see Minimum Age Requirement below), race, creed, color, national origin, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, physical appearance, socioeconomic level, education level, or any other legally protected characteristic. Volunteers assist in enriching programs and expanding services. Volunteers are not used to replace paid employees, and volunteers receive no compensation or benefits from JCLS. Volunteers support library operations with:

  1. Shelving and shelf-reading
  2. Assisting staff with regular and special programs and projects
  3. Preparing books for circulation
  4. Book mending
  5. Providing patrons with library service and resource directions

Individuals interested in volunteering at the Library must fill out an application. Candidates will be accepted based on the Library’s project and programmatic needs matched with the candidates’ qualifications to meet those requirements as determined during the selection process. The Library may not accept every volunteer application. All volunteers age 18 and over must submit to an interview and background check. This process, at a minimum, includes a criminal background check and a sex offender registry check.

  1. Confidentiality

All transactions between library users and staff or volunteers are strictly confidential. Volunteers are not permitted to work at the circulation desk or to have access to patron information. Volunteers are not permitted access to non-public areas when not volunteering. All patron transactions are strictly confidential. This includes information regarding what a patron has looked at, asked for, and checked out, as well as any questions asked by patrons at the reference or information desks.

  1. Harassment

All volunteers, employees and supervisors are strictly prohibited from sexually harassing or making improper advances toward other volunteers, employees, supervisors and patrons. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome or unsolicited verbal, physical, or sexual conduct that is made a term for the condition of service or employment, or has the effect or unreasonably interfering with work or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Harassment on the basis of any protected characteristics or class is strictly prohibited. This includes verbal abuse, physical conduct or showing an aversion to an individual because of their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, citizenship or national origin.

Any incident of harassment must be reported to the volunteer’s supervisor or the volunteer coordinator as soon as possible. Retaliation for reporting sexual harassment or discrimination will not be permitted.

  1. Drug-free Workplace

No volunteer shall report for their volunteer shift under the influence of any controlled substance that is legal or illegal. This policy does not include the proper use or possession of prescribed medications, but volunteers should consult their physician about the medication’s effect on their ability to work safely. It is the policy of the Library that smoking is prohibited at all library branches and properties.

  1. Minimum Age Requirement

The minimum age to be an independent volunteer with the Library is 14 years old. Minors may only work as a volunteer with signed parental consent. Youth who are 13 years or younger may volunteer if accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian who has completed a criminal background check and is a registered and active volunteer.

  1. Safety

It is the responsibility of each volunteer to be alert at all times and report unsafe acts and conditions to their supervisor. Each volunteer will receive safety training from their supervisor and shall adhere to this training. Volunteers must report any accidents or injuries, whether minor or serious, to their supervisor immediately.

  1. Leaving the Volunteer Program

Nothing in this policy or in the volunteer’s service to the library constitutes a contract or employment relationship between the volunteer and the Library. Both the volunteer and the Library have the right to end the volunteer’s association with the Library at any time with or without cause.