Managing Library Volunteers
Managing Library Volunteers is a complete step-by-step guide for those who are either starting a volunteer program at their library or moving into the position of managing their library's existing volunteer program. It is organized as large topics broken into shorter sections, which allows the reader to focus on a specific area of interest. A detailed table of contents, a list of sample documents, and an index all aid the reader in finding the appropriate topic; also included is an extensive bibliography of further reading, including non-library volunteer resources. It has been updated from the first edition (published in 2002) to include the myriad changes in technology since that time, including the advent of 'virtual volunteers.'
Driggers is a professor of human resources at Regis University in Colorado and has worked as a human resources manager for a public library district; Dumas was volunteer coordinator for the Aurora Public Library in Colorado for 18 years. Between them, they have a wealth of experience and knowledge from which to draw. Included is information on the rights of volunteers, ways to manage other staff's attitudes about volunteers, legal issues, position descriptions, HR matters, interviewing tips, recruitment techniques, and much, much more. While all examples used are from US public libraries, other types of libraries that use volunteers could also benefit from this book. Canadian libraries may not want to rely on the legal advice and US-specific associations mentioned, but most of the book is still applicable.
As someone who has not worked with library volunteers before, I found this book to be very enlightening regarding the importance of volunteers, not only in the library's operations but also because of how they link the library to the community and affect the community's perception of the library. Another surprise was the book's descriptions of the challenges the volunteer coordinator faces getting other library staff to accept volunteers in their library. The ideas for what [End Page R3] type of work volunteers can do—including the new work of 'virtual volunteers'—is useful and has great potential to expand the roles currently served by volunteers. The multitude of forms, checklists, job descriptions, and other examples provided would be extremely helpful to someone who is starting from scratch.
While other books deal with volunteers in libraries, most are either focused on one aspect (e.g., church libraries, training, teen advisory groups) or more general ideas (library promotion, library training). This book covers everything one might need to know about library volunteers from start to finish. I highly recommend it to anyone who manages the volunteer program at a library or is thinking about starting one.