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Home | Support the Library: Volunteer @ the Library
Volunteer @ the Library

The Joy of Unselfish Giving

Time is not measured by years that you live.
But by the deeds that you do and the joy that you give -
And each day as it comes brings a chance to each one
To love to the fullest leaving nothing undone,
That would brighten the life or lighten the load,
Of some weary traveler, lost on life's road.
So what does it matter how long we may live
If as long as we live we unselfishly give.

~Helen Steiner Rice

Table of Contents


Volunteers contribute their unique talents, skills, and knowledge to staff and customers thus connecting people and building community.

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The ideal Volunteer-staff relationship is characterized by mutual trust, respect, and recognition of the professionalism and competency of each person.

Staff delegate meaningful work to volunteers and keep volunteers involved in work suited to the volunteer’s skills and ability. In return, volunteers honor their commitment regarding their work and their schedule.

Staff listen to volunteers’ ideas and respect each volunteer as a person. Volunteers respect staff as people and accept training and supervision from staff.

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Volunteers can be of any age depending on the needs of the library and the abilities and skills of the volunteer. The suggested minimum age for young people working independently in the library is 12 years old. Before beginning his or her service, volunteers are interviewed by the Volunteer Liaison at the library and accepted into the program.

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Volunteers are assigned specific tasks by Volunteer Liaisons from a list of volunteer job descriptions. The Library matches volunteer interests and skills to positions available. A volunteer’s availability is also taken into consideration. Branches may not always have positions available and conversely, there may not always be volunteers for needed tasks.

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After being accepted as a volunteer, the following are provided:
  name tag
  introduction to staff
  tour of work location

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The training of each volunteer will include:
  training manual or handout
  meeting with Volunteer Liaison to discuss tasks
  skills training
  copy of job description

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All volunteers observe the same code of ethics as the salaried staff of the Library. Library customer information - written, verbal, or visual - is considered confidential. Information pertaining directly or indirectly to any staff member, customer or another volunteer shall not be repeated or discussed inside or outside the Library. (Policies and Procedures manual, section A.7, p. 30)

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Volunteer Services:
  maintain hours of service and other records.
  provide support to Liaisons and volunteers.
  coordinate the annual volunteer luncheon.
  budget for system-wide recognition events and trainings.

Volunteer Liaisons:
  communicate regularly with volunteers, local staff, and supervisors.
  recruit new volunteers to fill vacancies and to provide new    
  keep careful and accurate records, including volunteer applications.
  conduct orientation and training for local volunteers.
  attend Volunteer Liaison meetings 4 times per year.
  submit commendations for individuals or groups of volunteers.

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Homebound Volunteer 

Volunteer visits life care center residents and brings items from the Library. The Library staff provides training and support to the volunteer.  Time donated varies.

Reading Buddies

Teen volunteers are matched with younger children. They take turns reading to each other at the Library for short periods of time. This program is primarily active during the summer months.

Home Borrowers Service

Volunteer brings materials from the Library to a person who cannot leave his or her home due to illness, disability, or lack of transportation. A match is made between the volunteer and the receiver of the service based on geographic considerations and common interests. This service, on average, requires an hour two or three times a month.

Clerical Support

Volunteer aids staff by collating and stapling materials, cutting out library articles from newspapers for use in the library, and assisting with materials preparation for programs. Time spent in the library varies greatly.

Book Discussion Leader

Volunteer consults with staff to choose materials to read. She or he arranges for copies of the books for discussion, and leads the group in the discussion. Leadership of the group may rotate among the members and total volunteer hours involve all facets of the process from arranging for the books to doing the evaluation of the session.

Book Reviewer

Volunteer reads a library book of his or her choice, completes a book mark size review form and leaves the review in the book for others to read and enjoy. The time spent reading the book as well as the time writing the review is credited to the volunteer.

English Conversation Group Leader

Volunteer meets with a group of six to twelve immigrant adults to develop their English conversation skills. Groups usually meet for one and a half hours each week for three or four months at a time.

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All locations of the Ocean County Library have a Volunteer Liaison who would be happy to share more details of the programs in this booklet or other volunteer opportunities with you. Please call or stop in at any location and ask!

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Recognition is one way our Library says "Thank You" to volunteers and helps increase the success of the program. Volunteers receive no monetary reimbursement for their services, so appreciation of their time and effort needs to be demonstrated in other ways.

The following recognitions are provided by Volunteer Services:

anniversary letters of appreciation are sent every year
personalized book plates are given for every 50 hours of service
a volunteer key tag is sent to the volunteer after 6 months of service
volunteer socials are held for adults twice a year
for every 100 hours of adult volunteer time, volunteers are invited to a
for 200 hours, magnifying bookmark
for 300 hours, a tote bag
for 400 hours, a notebook and pen
for 500 hours, a specially commissioned lapel pin
for 10 years, a personalized plaque
when teen volunteers reach 100 hours of volunteer time, they are
    given a gift certificate

Some branches also hold local celebrations for their volunteers using system funds.

Ocean County Library also has program for pre-teens and teens called Services and Achievement in the Library (S.A.I.L.). There are three components - summer S.A.I.L. volunteers, Reading Buddies, and S.A.I.L. Guides. This program has its own recognitions, including t-shirts and celebrations.

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1. Helping others.
2. Improving the community.
3. Learning new skills.
4. Staying active and involved.
5. Being needed.
6. Doing satisfying work.
7. Using natural gifts and talents.
8. Being a role model for others.
9. Giving back what you have gotten.
10. Showing that you care.

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These are just a sampling of positions available. Call the Volunteer Liaison at your library for more information! Please keep in mind that not all positions are available at all locations!

System wide Volunteer Services
Marilyn Bass, Volunteer Coordinator x5535
Gwen Lareau, Home Borrowers Service Coordinator x5530

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M. Bass, Volunteer Coordinator

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Ocean County Library, 101 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ 08753 | Tel. 732-349-6200