Volunteer Policy

The Fairfield County District Library offers the opportunity for members of the community to give service to the Library while gaining satisfaction in a job well done. Library volunteers assist the library staff in their efforts to provide comprehensive services to the community.

A volunteer does not replace paid library personnel but assists the staff with various assignments, thereby; enhancing the service the library performs. As per the Union contract, The Library may use volunteers to assist with routine duties such as shelf reading, preparing crafts, shelving materials and pulling materials on hold. Use of volunteers is merely supplemental to the work of paid staff.

A limited number of volunteer positions will be available at any given time and new volunteers will be accepted only when positions open. The only exception to this may be when a student needs a short volunteer opportunity to fulfill a service or class assignment. The Library will make every effort to accommodate such requests but cannot guarantee that every request will be granted. Generally, the Library is unable to accommodate court-ordered community service. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Director.

All adult volunteers must agree to a criminal background check. Minor children may only work as volunteers with the signed consent of a parent or legal guardian.

The Library reserves the right to terminate any volunteer who neglects or refuses assignments or who violates any Library or volunteer policies and/or procedures. Once terminated, volunteer service may not be reinstated.

Volunteer applications will be received and screened by a designated Volunteer Services Coordinator. This coordinator will provide general library orientation and training to new volunteers. Additional training may be provided by department or branch managers once volunteer assignments have been determined. Attendance sheets and performance measures will be kept by the Department or Branch Manager. Updates on performance will be reviewed with the Volunteer Coordinator as needed. Staff requiring volunteer assistance for a special project should present their requests to the Volunteer Services Coordinator who will then seek a qualified volunteer for the assignment.

When possible, updates concerning volunteers or assignments will be made via email. Volunteers should check email regularly in case information has been sent.

Becoming a Volunteer

  • All applicants must complete a volunteer application. Applications can be obtained online or at any FCDL location. For information security purposes, applications must be mailed or brought directly to the Administration Office at the Main Library.
  • Depending upon funding, the applicant may be responsible to pay the cost of the screening.
  • An applicant must complete a brief in-person or phone interview with the Volunteer Services Coordinator.
  • Once accepted, volunteers may request particular assignments. The Volunteer Services Coordinator reserves the right to change assignments or reassign duties based on the needs of the Library. Volunteers always have the right to refuse an assignment.
  • New volunteers will receive a Library orientation including a tour of the building, introduction to staff and a review of the volunteer policy.
  • At any given time, a limited number of volunteers are needed. Volunteer applications will be kept on file for one year and reviewed as volunteer opportunities become available.

Time Sheet

Each volunteer will be responsible to keep track of his/her volunteer hours. Individual log sheets will be kept in a file folder in the staff lounge.


Volunteers may be recognized for every 100 hours of service. Acknowledgement may be made in the form of a 100 Hour Club bookplate mounted in a library book chosen by the volunteer to commemorate their service.


The Library will provide references for volunteers. The following information will be released in response to a reference request:

  • The beginning and ending date of service
  • The various assignments performed as a volunteer
  • The number of hours of service given

Upon consent of the volunteer, character references may be provided by individual library staff members concerning the volunteer work done in the Library however these are not formally sanctioned on behalf of the Library.

Confidential Information

All library users have a right to privacy and confidentiality regarding their personal information and the use they make of the library facilities, materials and websites. Staff and volunteers have an obligation to FCDL customers to maintain confidentiality and respect privacy. Volunteers might be exposed to information of a confidential nature. Such information is not to be shared with anyone else including family, friends or acquaintances. No one is permitted to remove or make copies of any records, reports or documents. Volunteers are not permitted to use staff workstations without permission from a supervisor.

Dress Attire

Casual clothing is acceptable when volunteering. In general, volunteers should use common sense and good judgment in dressing and grooming appropriately. The library is committed to maintaining a professional and welcoming atmosphere. For that reason, volunteers who have direct contact with the public should avoid wearing attire that expresses a political or religious slogan or statement. All volunteers should refrain from
wearing clothing that might be considered obscene, profane, harassing or suggestive in nature.

Personal Belongings

The library assumes no liability for personal items that are lost, damaged or stolen. It is advisable not to bring valuables to the library. A locker may be provided at the Main Library in the staff lounge as well as at most branch locations to store coats and personal belongings. A key to the locker may be obtained from the Administrative Secretary at the Main Library and by the Branch Manager or her designee at a branch location. Please return the key at the end of your volunteer workday. Lockers are intended for daily use and not for permanent use by one volunteer.


Volunteers are required to wear a name badge provided by the Library while on volunteer duty.

Rest Periods, Eating, Drinking and Smoking

A 15-minute break for every four hours of work is acceptable. Volunteers should always inform the department supervisor or another staff member in the department when they are leaving for a break and when they return to the department. Volunteers may use the staff lounge which is for staff members and volunteers but not for friends or family members. Food consumption is permitted in the staff lounge only. Water in a capped container is
allowed in the library but please keep water away from computers. All public buildings including libraries are smoke free. Volunteers wishing to smoke must do so outside the building making sure to be several feet away from any entrance to the building.

Incident/Injury Reports

The safety of all people in the library is important. Caution, care and common sense are critical to all work done in the Library. Please ask for safety equipment, such as gloves or a step stool, if needed it for an assignment. If an accident or unusual occurrence should happen, report the incident to a supervisor-on-duty immediately. All accident and injury reports are kept on file in the Administration Office.

Changes in Personal Information

The Library needs current contact information about each volunteer. This information may be needed to contact family in case of an emergency or when the supervisor must find a substitute for a volunteer who is suddenly unavailable. Please notify the Volunteer Coordinator of any change of address, name, email, telephone number or emergency family contact.


Once accepted and placed in a volunteer assignment, it is important that a volunteer report for duty on time. Vacation and other planned time away that conflicts with a regular volunteer assignment should be reported as far in advance as possible. For illness or emergency absence, call or email as soon as possible to the supervisor or the Volunteer Coordinator. Before hours, call the Library at 740-653-2745, extension 200 to leave a call-off message.

Phone Calls

Library phones are meant for business use and not for casual or non-urgent personal calls. Except for emergencies, friends and family should not expect volunteers to take calls while on duty. If an emergency call must be made, please see a staff member for instruction on making an outgoing call. Any personal long distance calls must be billed to your home telephone or credit card. Abuse of the Library telephone for incoming or outgoing personal calls may result in dismissal.

Volunteers should set personal cell phones to silent or vibrate while on duty. Please be mindful of the Library’s Courteous Cell Phone Use policy while in the Library.

Cause for Dismissal of Volunteer Duties

The following violations may result in immediate termination of volunteer service and possibly library privileges depending upon the severity of the circumstances:

  • Reporting for a volunteer assignment under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Theft of property or misuse of equipment or materials
  • Committing illegal, violent or intentionally committing inappropriate or unsafe acts
  • Abuse or mistreatment of any FCDL staff, patrons or other volunteers
  • Releasing confidential patron/staff information
  • Consistent tardiness/and or absences from scheduled volunteer shifts
  • Abuse of Library policies or volunteer procedures

Resigning from Volunteer Service

Volunteers may end their library service at any time. When a volunteer chooses to resign, as much advance notice as possible is appreciated. When possible, the library would like the opportunity to complete an exit interview with each volunteer who resigns. The exit interview is conducted by the Volunteer Coordinator or a designee.

List of Volunteer Jobs

The following list indicates jobs appropriate for volunteers. Any of these job assignments must be made under the direction of Library personnel. Additional tasks may be assigned or added to this list with approval from the Library Director or the Volunteer Coordinator only.

  • Shelf Reading
  • Shelving DVDs, music CDs, board books, paperbacks and other parts of the collection which are arranged alphabetically.
  • Putting materials in order (on a book truck)
  • Searching for Obituaries on microfilm (Reference Department)
  • Preparing crafts
  • Washing book covers
  • Cleaning scratched DVDs and CDs (only under supervision)
  • Third Floor Exhibit Monitor
  • Dusting shelves
  • Assisting with summer reading programs (helping with crafts; validating reading logs and distributing prizes; etc.)
  • Pulling collections of materials for daycares, preschools, nursing homes, assisted living residences or other nonspecific recipients of library materials.
  • Preparing floating book collections
  • Walking in the 4th of July, holiday or other parades on behalf of the Library.
  • Assist with hanging of artwork displays on the third floor.
  • Gardening/weeding
  • Special projects

Passed by Resolution Number: 57-11
Date May 17, 2011