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Volunteer Program Policy

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The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) recognizes and appreciates the valuable contributions of many conscientious volunteers. The Library encourages and welcomes applications from prospective volunteers at many locations and within appropriate programs and activities.  All Library personnel are encouraged to assist in the creation of meaningful and productive roles in which volunteers might serve and to assist in the recruitment of volunteers.

a) A volunteer is anyone who is selected to perform tasks constituting civic/charitable functions without expectation and/or provision of compensation and with no tangible benefits for performing this volunteer service.

b) Volunteers are viewed as a valuable resource and as important partners in serving the public. 

c) Volunteers may be utilized in various Library programs, activities and tasks; however, volunteers may not displace any paid employees from their positions, nor may volunteers perform any task or function that is designated or otherwise constitutes exclusive bargaining unit work performed by employees within any bargaining unit recognized by the Library and with which it has a collective bargaining relationship.

d) Volunteers who are under the age of 17 must have written consent of a parent or legal guardian prior to volunteering.

e) Some libraries accept as volunteers those participating in student community service activities, student intern projects, alternative sentencing or diversion programs, corporate volunteer programs and other volunteer referral programs.  In each of these cases, however, a special agreement must be in effect with the organization, school, or program from which the special case volunteers originate and must identify responsibility for management and care of the volunteers.

f) A volunteer must be in good standing, as defined by B&ECPL Circulation Policy, and (s)he must abide by all Library policies and rules.

g) Volunteers are required to execute a code of ethics agreement that will govern their actions (e.g., with respect to patron confidentiality) on behalf of the Library.

h) Volunteers may be asked to submit to a background criminal check.

i) No person who has a conflict of interest with any activity or program of the Library shall be accepted or serve as a volunteer with the Library.

j) Volunteers are responsible for presenting a positive image to patrons and the community.  Volunteers shall dress appropriately for the conditions and for the performance of their duties.

k) Necessary training and information shall be provided to all volunteers to ensure they are equipped to perform their volunteer duties.

l) Every effort will be made by the Library to provide the type of assignment requested by the volunteer and that best matches his/her skills. However, the Library retains sole discretion for selecting the assignment based on the needs of the organization.

m) The Library reserves the right to discontinue a volunteer's service.

Adherence to these principles is intended for internal management guidance and is not intended to constitute, either implicitly or explicitly, a binding employment agreement. Volunteers are not employees or agents of the Library. A volunteer shall not have any right or authority to create any obligation or responsibility, express or implied, on behalf of or in the name of the Library or to bind the Library contractually in any manner whatsoever.

Adopted October 20, 2005
Amended May 18, 2006
Reviewed by Policy Committee April 23, 2009 - no changes.