Volunteering Policy


Applicants must be at least age 16 in order to volunteer. Applicants under 18 must have the consent of their parent or guardian.

Applicants must be fluent in spoken and written English.

Applicants who are tentatively selected as volunteers must consent to a criminal background check which will be conducted before a final decision is made.

Applicants who are selected as volunteers must commit to work at least 3 hours per week over 6 consecutive months.


Applications may be filled out and submitted online by going here.

Applications may also be obtained, filled-out and submitted at each of the Library’s facilities.

All submitted applications will be forwarded to the office of the Director of Human Resources and General Counsel, who serves as the Library Volunteers Coordinator.

The library may require a background check for volunteer applicants.

Processing of Applications

All applications submitted will be logged in the office of the Director of Human Resources and General Counsel. Where the application indicates a desire to volunteer in one of the used book shops, a copy will be transmitted to the Volunteers Coordinator for the Friends of the Ferguson Library.

The role of the Library Volunteers Coordinator is to maintain a continuing awareness of the availability of volunteer opportunities in all of the Library’s departments and branches and to match the interests and talents of applicants with volunteer opportunities.

Applicants who appear to possess the requisite qualifications, abilities and experience to fill available volunteer opportunities will be referred to the appropriate department or branch supervisor, or his/her designee, for an interview and testing where appropriate.

Department and branch supervisors will make the decision whether or not an applicant should be assigned to work, in consultation with the Library Volunteers Coordinator. The decision to accept an applicant as a volunteer shall be tentative, subject to the criminal background check, which shall be conducted by the Library Volunteers Coordinator.


Successful applicants for volunteer positions will be assigned to work by department and branch supervisors in accordance with their determination regarding the needs of the Library and the hours of work available for volunteers.

Volunteers will not be assigned as replacements for full-time staff members or regular part-time employees without the approval of an administrator.

Department and branch supervisors will keep a record of each volunteer’s assigned days of work and his/her attendance on a form to be supplied by the Library Volunteers Coordinator.

Volunteers will be informally reviewed by the supervisor of the department or branch to which they are assigned and may be removed from their volunteer position for unsatisfactory performance or attendance by the supervisor after consultation with the Library Volunteers Coordinator.

Volunteers are expected to give at least 7 days’ notice to the Library of their intention to resign their volunteer position.

Volunteer Background Check Policy

Subject to the provisions of this Policy, volunteers must complete and sign a volunteer application form.  If and when the applicant is tentatively accepted as a Library volunteer, the Library may require a criminal background check before permission is granted to undertake volunteer activities.  In such event, the applicant will be required to sign a written consent to a criminal background check on a form provided by the Library. There is no cost to the applicant. Highly confidential volunteer background checks will be obtained by the Library from an outside vendor. Upon a review and approval of the results of the background check, the volunteer will receive an e-mail, confirming his or her acceptance as a volunteer as well as the activity in which he or she will be engaged. When evaluating a volunteer background check that includes a record of past criminal behavior, the Library shall consider various factors, including the following:

  1. The nature of any offense revealed by the background check.
  2. The disposition of the offense (e.g., conviction, pending charge, dismissed charge, etc.)
  3. The amount of time that has elapsed since disposition of the offense.
  4. Whether any information revealed by the background check is inconsistent with the volunteer application form or indicates that the application is misleading.
  5. Whether, in the Library’s discretion, it is determined that information on the volunteer background check is otherwise likely to place staff or patron safety at risk or adversely impact the orderly function of Library operations.
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