Volunteers are vital to the success of Reading Public Library. We welcome them, and we value their contributions to this community. Library service would be severely handicapped without the efforts of the volunteers.

Librarian’s Responsibilities, Obligations to the Volunteers

  • To provide proper orientation so that volunteers are familiar with what their roles are and with how the library operates.
  • To provide a safe, pleasant working environment where volunteers are treated respectfully and cordially by staff and patrons.
  • To honor the volunteer’s job preference whenever possible, keeping in mind that sometimes the completion of one job may take precedence over that of another, and that having a job done correctly is important to insure that the library serves the community in the best possible way.
  • To clearly define the job at hand, to clearly explain how the job needs to be done, to sufficiently train the volunteer to do the job, and to provide adequate tools for getting the job done.
  • To act with professionalism and with courtesy when dealing with any conflict. To keep the best interests of the library and the community in mind when tackling any problem.
  • To appreciate the efforts of the volunteers, and to commend the volunteers and their accomplishments to the trustees and to the community.
  • To be open to suggestions.

Volunteers’ Responsibilities, Obligations to the Librarian and to the Library

  • To work according to the policies and principles of the library. To refer all policy questions, whether the volunteer’s or a patron’s, to the librarian. To notify the librarian about any problem that occurs while the volunteer is working.
  • To keep the registration and circulation records of the library confidential, with the understanding that the responsibility for a child’s reading rests only with the parents–whether the parents are accompanying the child to the library or not.
  • To attend and to participate in volunteer meetings, should these be called. To participate in an evaluation of the volunteer’s performance, should an evaluation be necessary.
  • To notify the librarian if there is a wish by the volunteer to change the conditions of his or her work, or a wish to discontinue working altogether.
  • To accept the supervision of the librarian, with the understanding that the librarian is in charge of the day-to-day operation of the library. To express dissatisfaction, should there be any, through proper channels, which are a conversation with the librarian or attendance at a meeting of the Library Board of Trustees.
  • To refrain from debating library policy outside the library, as this can lead to misinformation, confusion, and a diminished reputation for the library in community circles.
  • To help maintain a pleasant environment at the library, an environment in which patrons and staff are treated respectfully and cordially.
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