New Library Directors Handbook

Recruiting Volunteers

Think about why people volunteer. Maybe they would like to meet new people or want new challenges. Understanding a person's reason for volunteering can help you identify potential candidates and possible volunteer projects. Think outside of the normal volunteer routines. Many libraries ask volunteers to shelve and/or file. If people want to have more human contact in this time of computers and machines, asking someone to read at storytime may be the best way to enhance a volunteer's experience at the library.

How can you recruit volunteers? You can do so by word of mouth. Talk with frequent library users and find out their interests. Ask your volunteers to let others know about volunteering activities. Put up flyers or posters that talk about what volunteers can do for the library. You can ask school clubs to do community service work in the library. The National Honor Society, Key Club, Business Professionals of America (BPA), etc. are required to do community service projects. Remember to be creative. Maybe you want to start a homebound program, where trusted volunteers will deliver books to those who cannot leave their homes. A great volunteer can organize this for you and supervise others in doing this.