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Volunteer Policy

<< Policies


Define structure, supervision and purpose of the Volunteer program of the Omaha Public Library

Section 1: Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to define the structure of the Volunteer Program and to build effective volunteer management throughout the Library system. This policy ensures consistent and effective supervision and fair and professional treatment for Library volunteers. 

The primary purpose of the Volunteer Program is to augment and enhance community engagement in the delivery of Library services in Omaha. 

Section 2: Policy
The Volunteer Office coordinates recruitment activities and materials. Recruitment targets the broadest possible community involvement representing the diverse population of Omaha.

Volunteer Assignments:

  1. Every assignment or activity for which volunteers are utilized must have a written volunteer position description. The description provides both staff and volunteers with a clear explanation of responsibilities, qualifications needed, and benefits to the volunteer.
  2. Volunteer positions may include assignments or projects that are:
    • Short-term or long-term to be completed within a defined period.
    • Ongoing without an identified end date.

Volunteer Qualifications

  1. Youth entering 5th Grade or above.
  2. All volunteers will be subject to a background check and/or reference checks.
  3. For all activities related to recruitment and retention of volunteers, the Omaha Public Library does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or sexual orientation, national origin or marital status or political beliefs.

Placing Volunteers

  1. Volunteers may not be assigned to displace any City employee from a paid position. A volunteer position may not replace any employee position which is vacant due to retirement, resignation or termination.
  2. As a service to departments, the Volunteer Coordinator conducts screening interviews for volunteers to determine their qualifications, ability and suitability tovolunteer at OPL. The coordinator then refers volunteers to the departmental volunteer supervisor for interview and placement.
  3. A volunteer will be accepted for a 30-day trial period to allow for reference checks, orientation and training. After 30 days the volunteer and volunteer supervisor will meet to evaluate the volunteer's performance and satisfaction with their assignment.
  4. A volunteer may be terminated at any time at the Library's sole discretion with or without cause.
    Causes for termination include but not limited to:
    • Not performing work at an appropriate level of capability
    • Negative attitude, offensive language, inappropriate dress or misconduct
    • Violation of city, state or federal laws
    • Harassment
    • Unexcused absences
A volunteer will be issued a verbal and written warning before being terminated for any reason other than their work assignment is complete

Section 3: Roles and Responsibilities

The Volunteer Office

  1. Ensures a uniform, consistent and efficient approach to volunteer coordination and management.
  2. Provides training, support and consultation to staff and departments regarding their use of volunteers.
  3. Pre-screens candidates for availability, position preferences and relevant experience;refers prospective volunteers to the department for interview and possible placement.The staff volunteer supervisor makes final placement decisions and should conduct an interview to assure proper placement.
  4. Advertises volunteer opportunities available to the public.
  5. Develops and delivers orientation for new volunteers.
  6. Develops and maintains connections with outside non-profit agencies, businesses and service groups that serve the Omaha community in order to promote volunteerism, leadership development, and civic engagement.

The Department or Branch Manager

  1. Appoints one or more volunteer supervisors to oversee the department or branch volunteers and to coordinate with the Volunteer Coordinator.
  2. Builds excellence in volunteer supervision into the performance evaluation of the volunteer supervisors as appropriate.

The Volunteer Supervisor

  1. Responsible for promoting the value of our volunteer to the Library in a positive manner.
  2. Oversees and is responsible for department/branch volunteer activities and data.
  3. Acts as the communication link between the Volunteer Coordinator and the individual department/branch.
  4. Conducts volunteer placement interviews
  5. Provides branch orientation, training and on-going supervision to the volunteer.
  6. Evaluates volunteer performance.

The Volunteer

Volunteers must comply with the guidelines and procedures outlined in the volunteer handbook and must abide by the same rules of conduct, ethical standards and confidentiality requirements that govern staff.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees
03/19/08 - pdf version
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