Volunteer Handbook

Welcome!

It is a pleasure to welcome you to Quarryville Library’s team of volunteers. You are a vital and integral part of the daily operations of our library. The work and dedication of our volunteers enable us to maintain the extensive hours we are open and to provide high quality services to our users.

The following information should answer some questions you may have about the responsibilities and benefits of being a library volunteer.

We at the Quarryville Library sincerely hope you find your experience as a volunteer with us to be both enjoyable and rewarding.

About the Library

The Quarryville Library has been at its present location since April 2001 and in existence since 1976. Although we are an independent library, governed by our own board of Directors, we are part of the Library System of Lancaster County. As a member of the library system, we will honor any library card issued from any public library in Lancaster County. The online catalog lists materials including books, tapes, DVDs, board games, etc. available at all of the public libraries throughout the county and at the Shuts Environmental Center.

We are also part of an interlibrary loan service that links nearly 5,000 public, academic and special libraries throughout the nation. All materials are shared amongst all the libraries in Lancaster County. This allows patrons to reserve books from any library in Lancaster County and return them to any library as well. Five days a week we receive shipments of library materials that our patrons have reserved.

Volunteer Duties

Responsibilities include:

  • Check-in, check-out, and renew materials for patrons
  • Shelve items that have been checked in
  • Answer the telephone
  • Empty book drop
  • Guide patrons to locate books, videos, etc. on the shelves
  • Pick up loose books around the library and shelve them
  • Organize shelves so that they are in the correct order
  • Tidy board book area and children’s toys
  • Organize newspapers and magazines
  • Clean off Writing Center area
  • Pull books to the edge of the shelves
  • Dust shelves when necessary

Please make an effort to greet each person as he or she comes in the door. We’d like patrons to know this is their library and we are here for them with at least a smile of greeting.

Renewal of expired cards and collection of fines may only be handled by staff or volunteers who are 18 and over. New card registrations, book reserves, and patron complaints may only be handled by a staff member. This is so that all the Lancaster County Libraries can keep procedures consistent and track
records properly.

Training

Because of the nature of the work and the fact that there are many details to absorb, much of what you learn will be provided by on-the-job training. There will be three two-hour sessions of training before you begin to work a regular shift. It is, therefore, important that you ask questions! Everyone who works here has been in your shoes. You will be given courteous and considerate help with your questions or problems relating to your library duties. You will always be working in conjunction with a staff member to whom questions and concerns should be addressed.

Respect Staff & Patrons

Staff members are responsible for delegating tasks to volunteers. Respect staff by fulfilling those assignments to the best of your ability. Please be courteous to patrons and ask staff for assistance if you have questions or need help. If there is an issue that your staff member cannot help you with, please notify Library
Director, Frances Annis, directly or by phone during business hours.

Procedures

The Quarryville Library relies on volunteers to show up for their shift(s) so that they can assist at the front desk. If you are going to be late for your assigned duty, please call and inform a staff person on duty (not a volunteer) so that the appropriate changes can be made to the volunteer schedule.

If you are unable to work a shift, please call us at least 24 hours prior to the start of your shift or as early as possible so that we can find a replacement for you.

Because volunteers expect to be released from their shifts by the next volunteer, it is important that you arrive on time. If you fail to show up for your assigned shift without proper notification for three shifts, you will be taken off the schedule immediately. We rely on our volunteers to serve our patrons, and expect for this position to be handled responsibly.

Commitment

We encourage volunteers to make a commitment of at least one shift per week at the library. With today’s busy schedules, we realize this may not always be possible, and we appreciate whatever time you are able to give. We ask that each new volunteer make a twelve-month commitment to the library, which may be renewed on a yearly basis.

Policies

The library exists to serve the public. A pleasant manner with patrons is essential. It is not the responsibility of the volunteer to deal with problem patrons, either juvenile or adult. Please inform the Director or other staff member of your concerns and allow him or her to handle the situation.

Confidentiality

What a patron reads is his or her business. We may not discuss with anyone what a particular patron reads, nor can we discuss any other information about a patron. This includes his or her name, address, and other personal information. Patrons are not allowed to access information about circulation or registration. This information is confidential and not to be given to the public either in person or by phone.

Every volunteer must keep all patron records private and any misuse or infringement on privacy rights will terminate the volunteer’s position and will be dealt with by the law if necessary.

Dress Code

Good taste in regard to dress is the responsibility of each volunteer and each employee. Tops need to be long enough to completely cover the stomach and back. No midriffs or shorter tops. Low cut blouses and tight fitting tops are not appropriate. Tops or dresses with spaghetti straps are not permitted. Jeans that fall below the waistline are not practical. Shorts that are above mid-thigh are not suitable for the work you will be doing.

These guidelines are typical for most jobs and appropriate for the volunteers’ tasks, which often require reaching, bending, and stooping to shelve books.

All volunteers and staff must be constantly aware that their appearance is a part of the overall image of the library as well as a reflection of their own attitude toward their volunteer positions.

Computer Usage

Computer use is limited to assisting patrons with questions or research requests. Volunteers are not permitted to use computers for personal use while on duty.

A Word about Work Flow

At times, you may not be able to shelve all the books before your shift is over. This is the nature of library work. We understand that and have all experienced it. If you are needed to help the staff member at the circulation desk, shelving the books can wait. Again, your primary concern is the patron and helping staff as needed. Eventually, there will be a lull when we can get caught up.

A Word about Mistakes

There is no mistake a volunteer can make that would cause complete disaster. If you should make an error, it will not be the end of the world. If you are unsure of the proper location for a book or a procedure at the computer, just ask the staff member to help, no matter how silly it might seem or how many times you have already asked. Don’t worry – relax and enjoy your time with us.

Benefits

Volunteers are greatly appreciated every day and honored in some way annually by the staff and board for their service to the library. All volunteers may borrow library materials without incurring fines and make photocopies for 50% of the regular price. Only photocopies made specifically for library purposes are free of charge to volunteers. As a volunteer you will also not accrue fines on your account for any late fees.

Breaks

You may take a break when the need arises. Please notify the staff member when you are taking a break so the circulation desk is never left unattended.

Winter Weather Closings

During the winter, the library’s policy is to close when there are hazardous conditions. Please check WGAL or www.wgal.com, Facebook, or the library’s website to view our closing announcements. If, however, we are open and you are not comfortable driving in certain weather, we will certainly understand. Please let us know as soon as possible so that we can find a substitute.

Other Points to Keep In Mind

Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. Volunteers under 14 are not permitted behind the circulation desk. However, there are other volunteer opportunities available for those under the age of 14, such as helping the Youth Services Coordinator with displays, craft projects, and program set-ups. We also have a program called Adopt-A-Shelf that is open to all ages. Children under 14 are welcome to perform volunteer tasks such as these with a staff member’s permission and parental supervision.