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Volunteer Policy and Guidelines

Wauconda Area Public Library District


Approved by the Board of Library Trustees February 9, 2004

The Benefits of Volunteering for the Library

  • Learn more about library services
  • Expand your knowledge and skills
  • Meet new people
  • Contribute to your community
  • The knowledge that you are enabling staff to provide improved library services


A volunteer shall be considered as any individual, 16 years or older, who assists with work done at the Wauconda Area Library, without remuneration. Exceptions to the age requirement may be made by the Library Director.

A student intern shall be considered as any middle school, high school or college student who performs volunteer work.  Individual Boy/Girl Scouts working on advanced awards are also classified as student interns.

Role of Volunteers

Volunteers are an essential part of the Wauconda Area Library’s service to customers. Volunteers generally provide support services to staff and/or work on special projects. Because we rely upon our volunteers to help provide service, it is essential that a volunteer make a real commitment to the library.

Selection of Volunteers

  • A volunteer application and interview must be completed before anyone can serve as a volunteer at the library.  Volunteers are selected based upon their qualifications and the needs of the library at any given time. While we appreciate every person who wishes to volunteer at the library, opportunities for voluntary work are limited.  A criminal background check may be required, depending on the nature of the volunteer position for which the applicant is applying.  Members of the Friends of the Wauconda Area Library are not required to apply as library volunteers in order to perform their

Volunteer Service

  • The library does not compensate volunteers for time spent or expense incurred.
  • Volunteers are expected to complete the training program for the particular function and to take directions from the supervisor who is responsible for their work.
  • Volunteer service should be sufficient in scope and duration to justify the investment of staff time in training and managing the volunteers.
  • Volunteers may be removed by that supervisor if the work performance is not satisfactory. 
  • Volunteers are bound by all library policies.
  • Service volunteers are recognized by the public as representatives of the library and shall be guided by the same work and behavior codes as employees. They work with the status of "at-will" employees.
  • Each volunteer shall have a specific paid staff member to whom he or she reports and with whom to discuss problems.
  • Volunteers may not have access to staff-only areas without direct supervision.
  • Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information which they may be exposed to while serving as a volunteer whether this information involves single members of staff, volunteers, patrons, or

    other persons, or involves the overall business of the library. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in immediate termination of the volunteer and/or other corrective action

Volunteer Job Description


  • Willingness to work within the library environment
  • Ability to interact with patrons, library staff and other volunteers in a positive and pleasant manner


  • Willingness to follow supervisory direction
  • Willingness to learn and to do the assigned work effectively
  • Willingness to complete any training relating to the assigned work
  • Willingness to be supportive of the library and its policies


  • Ability to follow direction
  • Manual dexterity
  • Physical dexterity
  • Knowledge of alphabetical order and decimals
  • Knowledge of computer operations if applicable to the assigned work duties
  • Attention to detail
  • Organizational ability

Possible Volunteer Duties

  • “Shelf - Reading” (Making certain that materials were shelved correctly and shift books where necessary)
  • Assisting at the Friends Annual Book Sale
  • Reading to others
  • Tutoring for the literacy program
  • Reshelf books and other materials
  • Straighten magazine and newspaper shelves
  • Assisting with programs and special events
  • Helping with special projects
  • Straighten magazine and newspaper shelves
  • Dust the shelves
  • Provide basic technical support for computer users
  • Clean computer monitors and keyboards
  • Straighten magazine and newspaper shelves

Leaving Volunteer Service

A volunteer selected for work on a special project will discontinue service when that project is completed or terminated, unless other arrangements have been made.

Whenever possible, the library will make an effort to reassign the volunteer, if desired. However, if no other mutually suitable volunteer position exists at the time, the volunteer will be asked to discontinue service and his or her application will be kept on file for one year, subject to review should a suitable position become available during that time.  In the event that a volunteer is unable to adequately perform the duties assigned to him or her, and no other appropriate positions are available, the volunteer may be removed from service.