The art of managing library volunteers

For Immediate Release
Fri, 02/04/2011

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CHICAGO — Volunteers are essential to a successful library program — and at a time when deep budget cuts are the norm, there are many libraries that depend on the help of dedicated volunteers, who do everything from shelving books to covering the phones. Whether these are friends, trustees or community members, managing them effectively is the key to harnessing their enthusiasm for the benefit of your library. In the new second edition of “Managing Library Volunteers,” published by ALA Editions, authors Preston Driggers and Eileen Dumas completely overhaul their classic work, presenting a top-to-bottom toolkit for recruiting, interviewing, training, supervising and evaluating volunteers. This book includes:

  • tips for recruiting volunteers from your community by using social networking, electronic posting and the library website;
  •  principles of volunteer administration, including the rights and duties of volunteers;
  •  discussion of important legal and risk management issues facing libraries;
  •  dozens of sample job descriptions, application forms, parental permissions, sign-in sheets, planning checklists, exit surveys and much more.

Driggers is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University, Denver, Colo., where he facilitates courses in human resources, organizational behavior, business research and sociology. He has held managerial human resources positions in both the public and private sectors, including a public library district.

Dumas, special services librarian, worked for the Aurora Public Library, Aurora, Colo. for 18 years as volunteer and homebound services coordinator. She co-edited the journal Colorado Libraries, for which she also created and edited the column “Volunteer Line." She is active with the Colorado Association of Libraries and the Sustainable Living Library, a Second Life virtual library supported by the Colorado Association of Libraries.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.