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Volunteer Policy

4.03 Volunteer Policy


 [1] Policy Statement

In order to achieve the vision and mission statement of the Kalona Public Library, we view the active participation of citizens, of a variety of ages, as a valuable resource to the library.  After fulfilling library procedures, the library accepts and encourages the involvement of volunteers at the library under the supervision of the library staff and within appropriate programs and activities.  Volunteers shall be extended the right to be given meaningful assignments, the right to be treated as an equal, the right to effective and professional supervision, the right to involvement and participation and the right to recognition of competent completion of assigned tasks.

 Kalona Public Library volunteers enhance the Library; and thus, the community.  Volunteers perform a wide variety of tasks under the supervision of the Kalona Public Library staff that are important to the institution.  The following policy is designed to promote a maximum degree of excellence for patrons of the Kalona Public Library.


[2] Definition of a Volunteer

A volunteer is one who performs a service of his or her own free will; who contributes time, energy and talents directly for the Kalona Public Library and is not paid by library or City of Kalona funds.  All volunteers must be accepted and enrolled by the library prior to performance of assigned tasks.


[3]  Benefits of Being a Volunteer


1.         Feeling good about yourself.

2.         The experience of accomplishment.

3.         Being a service to your community.

4.         Recognition by staff, community, friends, etc.

5.         Special “perks” offered by the library

6.         References provided

7.         Getting to know the library procedures, policies, the effort and education it takes to run and maintain a library.

8.         Gaining a sufficient understanding of the important role of a library for its patrons.

9.         Meeting new people in the community.

10.       Job training for future jobs.



[4] Types of Volunteers


1.         Adult (18 years or older)

2.         Teen (TAB ¨ Teen Activity Board)

3.         Youth Volunteers (11 years old to 17 years old)

4.         Community Service Workers upon approval by director

5.        Friends of the Library

6.         Special Projects.

7.         Library Board members

8.         Library Foundation members




[5] Some Tasks That May Be Performed By a Volunteer


1.         Shelf reading.

2.         Shelving materials.

3.         Assisting a staff member with programs and projects.

4.         Light cleaning assignments.

5.         Basic reference work under the guidance of a staff member.

6.         Clerical work as assigned.

7.         Processing and/or repair of materials.

8.         Provide computer assistance to patrons.


Most task assignments will depend on the interest and age of the volunteer.  Youth volunteer assignments are handled on a case by case basis.



[6] Guidelines for Volunteers


1.         Each volunteer may wear a volunteer badge.

2.         Volunteers will be required to attend training sessions when needed.

3.         Special accommodations will be made upon request.

4.         Volunteers will make note of time donated in the Kalona Public Library Volunteer Notebook.

5.         Should a Volunteer have a grievance with a staff person, another volunteer or a library patron, every attempt will      be made to handle the situation through the Library Director or Volunteer Coordinator.

6.         The Kalona Library reserves the right to terminate the services of the volunteer.

7.         Volunteers may not be used to establish and maintain new library services or hours.

8.         Volunteers will not be used to replace or reduce the number of paid staff.

9.         Volunteers will be covered with respect to City of Kalona liability insurance in relation to their duties in case of injury. Volunteers are not covered under any Workers Compensation plan.

10.       Volunteers should expect to fulfill a commitment mutually agreed upon with the library.    

11.       Volunteers are recognized as contributors to the goals of the library in respect of the library’s goal to its community.

12.       Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of ALL library information.  Failure to maintain confidentiality will result in immediate termination of the volunteer.

13.       The library will, upon request, provide letters of reference for the volunteer, if deemed appropriate.

14.       The minimum age requirement for an adult volunteer is 18 and for a youth volunteer is 11.

15.       All volunteers are registered at the Kalona Public Library by completing an application form, the application form must be approved by the director prior to the applicant being registered.

16.       Procedures and requirements for the volunteer may vary depending on the age of the volunteer.

17.       All personal information about a volunteer is for internal use only and is confidential.

18.       Written parental permission will be needed to permit volunteering by a youth volunteer; that being a person under the age of 18; and over and at least 11 years old.

19.       Volunteers will not be expected to perform any task that staff would not do.

20.       Discriminatory, sexual harassment or racist attitudes and actions will not be tolerated.

21.       Volunteers are prohibited from being under the influence of alcohol or/and using, possessing, selling or otherwise being involved with illegal substances.




[7]  Background Checks


Volunteer applicants 18 years and older may be subject to a background check.  The National Sex Abuse Registry will be checked for all applicants.  Other agencies may be accessed depending on the position for which the individual is applying.  Background checks may be repeated during the volunteer’s tenure at the KPL.

All volunteer applications indicating a criminal history (misdemeanor, felony, deferment) will be reviewed by the Library Director.

  • Applicants with a criminal history will only be accepted if the Library Director determines that the placement of that applicant will not jeopardize the safety of KPL patrons and staff, or the integrity of the KPL collections.
  • Any applicant with a criminal history including sex or child abuse convictions or deferments will automatically be denied volunteer placement.
  • A volunteer or applicant under investigation for or charged with child or sex abuse or criminal acts will be suspended or disqualified from volunteering until the issue is resolved.


The background check process will not be required for service organizations who volunteer as a group and are supervised by an organization’s staff person or representative, and/or for which the volunteer activity is a single event and/or restricted to custodial work or materials handling.




[8] Types of Warning


1.         Verbal

2.         Written

3.         Dismissal




Approved 5/10/2005

Revised and approved: 5/12/2009; 1/10/12; 4/12/16; 4/11/17

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.