Volunteer Policy

The Watertown Free Public Library Volunteer Program provides public service opportunities to members of our community. Volunteers provide valuable assistance on projects that may be otherwise neglected because of budgetary limitations. Volunteers generally provide support services to paid staff; work on special projects; or assist with the Building Committee Book Sale. Volunteers are expected to act in accordance with library policies and to reflect positive customer service attitudes to all library patrons.

Applying to Volunteer

Prospective volunteers must complete the volunteer application form and return it to the Assistant Director in the Administration Office. If there is an opportunity available for an applicant, the Assistant Director will contact the applicant for an interview. Interviews are by appointment only. Volunteers also must pass a Criminal Offense Records Investigation (CORI).


Volunteer applications are accepted for people 15 years and older. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian to volunteer at the library.

Selection of Volunteers

Volunteers are selected based on their qualifications in relation to the needs of the library at any given time, and based on their ability to commit to a consistent schedule of volunteer hours. Selection of in house volunteers is the responsibility of the Assistant Director.

If there are no suitable volunteer opportunities, application forms will be kept on file for a period of one year. Applicants will be called if a project is identified which matches their interests or qualifications.

Roles and Responsibilities

We ask volunteers to be reliable in their commitment to the library and to notify the library in advance if they are unable to work their regularly scheduled time slot.

Volunteers are expected to refer all requests for information to the library staff, other than purely directional questions (e.g. where is the bathroom; where is the children's room, etc.). Volunteers are asked to keep an accurate record of the hours they work each week in departmental hours logs.

Training & Supervision

The Assistant Director coordinates the volunteer program and is available to discuss assignments, concerns, or questions. Volunteers will receive specific training in their assigned duties from the library staff member who directly supervises their work.

Work Schedules

Volunteers shall only work during hours when adequate supervision is available. Typically, a volunteer works a 2 hour time slot each week unless otherwise arranged. Individual work schedules and specific time commitments will be mutually arranged in advance by the volunteer and the Assistant Director or immediate supervisor.

Community Service

Persons who seek volunteer assignments at the Watertown Free Public Library to meet a requirement set by an outside agency for the performance of community service shall be subject to the above selection process and all other provisions of this policy.

Leaving Volunteer Service

A volunteer selected for work on a special project will discontinue service when that project is completed or terminated, unless other arrangements have been made.

Whenever possible, the library will make an effort to reassign the volunteer. However, if no other mutually suitable volunteer position exists at the time, the volunteer will be asked to discontinue service and his or her application will be kept on file for one year, subject to review should a suitable position become available during that time.

In the event that a volunteer is unable to adequately perform the duties assigned to him or her, and no other appropriate positions are available, the volunteer may be removed from service.

Approved by the Board of Trustees October 2, 2012.