rusq: Vol. 51 Issue 1: p. 86
Sources: Managing Library Volunteers
Serin Anderson

Serin Anderson, Collection Development & Administrative Services Librarian, University of Washington at Tacoma, Tacoma, Washington

Although volunteers are often an important part of library organizational success, there is a dearth of current professional titles dealing with this topic. The second edition of Managing Library Volunteers is a well written and much needed comprehensive resource designed to provide an overview of all topics related to library volunteerism. The book is divided into six sections: Part I covers volunteer program specifics such as communication, evaluation, and legal risk, while Parts II through VI cover recruitment, training, recognition, discipline, and record keeping. Throughout the book, 38 sample documents are included. The authors recommend using them as is or as starting points. These are an excellent collection of resources that can help prevent the “reinvent the wheel” trap that is so common with administrative tasks.

Both authors come from a public library background, and this book has been written with public libraries in mind, but it includes an impressive amount of useful material for any library that recruits and uses volunteers. For those who own the first edition, it is worth updating one’s professional library with this new version. The new edition uses the same organization as the first, but the content has been updated and expanded. One of the most useful updates is the inclusion of information related to “virtual volunteers” who complete tasks remotely, such as link testers and genealogy researchers. Other updates include sections on recruitment via library websites and the use of social media.

Managing Library Volunteers is a great resource, but there are additional titles that may be useful as well. Librarians working with teen programs might wish to check out Diane Tuccillo’s well received Teen-Centered Library Services: Putting Youth Participation into Practice (Libraries Unlimited, 2009). Although this is primarily targeted at libraries with YA services, it is similar to Driggers and Dumas’s book in that it contains numerous examples and forms. Sunny Fader’s 365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining, Motivating and Rewarding your Volunteers: A Complete Guide for Non-Profit Organizations is another good option (Atlantic Publishing Company, 2010). Although not library-specific, 365 Ideas contains great suggestions for recruiting and retaining volunteer workforces. Those who are intensely curious about the world of volunteers and volunteering might also enjoy Volunteers: A Social Profile (Musick & Wilson, 2007). Written by two sociologists, this book offers survey data, references, and explanations about who volunteers, why they volunteer, and what they gain from volunteering.

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