Hot Topics Archive

Month Topic Update
What's New for July 2012 New Resources

Still finding that staff aren’t on board with volunteer engagement as much as you’d like?  Check out some common concerns and steps you can take here:  Addressing Common Staff Concerns About Volunteers

Solano County Library’s literacy program provides opportunities for experienced literacy volunteers to serve as Literacy Resource Specialists.

The Yolo County Library and the Yolo County Probation Department have partnered on a project that provides literacy tutoring to youth incarcerated at the Juvenile Detention Facility.  We’ve added the Literacy Tutor, Juvenile Detention Facility volunteer position description, and the volunteer recruitment flyer they use for the project.

Here’s Solano County Library’s volunteer position description for Bi-Lingual Catalog/Internet Docent.
San Francisco Public Library’s Teen Computer Corps connects computer savvy teenagers with senior patrons hoping to improve their basic computer skills.

And some terrific volunteer orientation materials are provided by the Huntington Beach Public Library:  one for volunteers in Circulation and one for those in the Media Center.

Also, those in Southern California should mark your calendars for a free ½ day workshop presented by the Southern California Get Involved Regional Network.  Tuesday, August 28 from 9 am to Noon at the Ontario City Library.  The workshop will focus on “Engaging Highly Skilled Volunteers: The Importance of Policies and Procedures.”  Mileage reimbursement is available.  Register by sending an e-mail to including name, library, position and phone number.

P.S.  If you’re not a member of the “Get Involved: Powered by Your Library” listserv, you can keep up to date on all things library volunteers by sending an e-mail to and requesting to be added.

What's New for June 2012 New Resources

Thinking of engaging groups of volunteers from corporations, local businesses, service clubs or youth groups?  Then this archived one hour webinar is for you:  Putting Corporate Volunteers to Work 

This volunteer position description from the California State Library really generated a lot of referrals on VolunteerMatch.  Your library may have a need like this as well -- Japanese American History Archivist -– We’re also looking for a volunteer position description for a person(s) to help Tech Services with translation of materials too – if you have such a description, please “Suggest a Resource” by clicking in the box to the right.

Literacy programs looking for a way to serve adult learners who are waiting to be matched with a volunteer tutor should take a look at Solano County Library’s Learning Opportunity Facilitator volunteer position description.

We have asked some libraries to do “reviews” on the Volunteer Management System they are using to keep track of their volunteer information.  The newest one is on the product called Volgistics – Huntington Beach Public Library’s Review.  If you’re looking for a system for your library, you’ll find an assortment of these reviews on a variety of Volunteer Management Systems by clicking on “Management Tools,” and then on “Volunteer Management Systems.”

What's New for May 2012 New Resources

We are thrilled to announce the Grand Opening of our new searchable database (we call it the “Clearinghouse”) of all the great resources we currently have stored in the system for your use! -- -- You’ll find hundreds of professionally taken photos – all with permission from the subjects in the photos -- they are sized for immediate use on your VolunteerMatch postings. Remember, VolunteerMatch research shows that opportunities posted with a picture of a volunteer engaged in the job you’re recruiting for gets 3 times as many “hits” as one without a photo. You can browse all of the photos, or search for a particular one by using some general volunteer job description titles in a Keyword drop down menu on the photos page. You’ll see that you can “Suggest a Resource” – please do!! As you develop more volunteer engagement materials, please use that option to send us more things we can share with everyone.

What's New for April 2012 New Resources

A veritable treasure trove of useful documents from the San Jose Public Library's award-winning Volunteer Engagement Team has been added for April!

Staff Training Syllabus

Volunteer Agreement Checklist

Coordinator of Volunteer Engagement (for a branch or unit)

Tips for Getting Staff Buy-In for Volunteer Engagement

Tips for Collaborating with Unions

Volunteer Practices Continuum

Action Words for Use in Position Description Development

What's New for March 2012 New Resources
Successful Volunteer Recruitment Strategies: Capturing the Talent of Baby Boomers and the Generations that Follow (1 hour archived webinar)

•    Do you ever wonder what motivates volunteers?
•    Are you wondering where to find talented volunteers?
•    What projects or programs do you have that will attract them?

Baby boomers and the generations that follow are seeking new ways to use their skills and experience to make a difference in their communities. Your library is uniquely positioned to benefit from these volunteers. This webinar will provide tools, techniques, and models for volunteer engagement.

At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will:

•    Understand the potential for engaging high impact, skilled volunteers to assist public libraries.
•    Know how to engage this talent to extend the library’s capacity in the community and to benefit from these new library advocates and supporters.
•    Understand the motivations behind why people volunteer.
•    Be able to create diverse and meaningful skilled volunteer positions that will attract a broad range of community volunteers, especially boomers.
•    Plan to implement a variety of successful volunteer recruitment strategies that go far beyond the “Volunteer Here” sign on the Circulation Desk.


What's New for February 2012 New Resources

One of our sustainability strategies for the Get Involved: Powered by Your Library statewide volunteerism initiative is the development of "Regional Peer Networks." In addition to our statewide efforts, the goal is to facilitate the sharing of library volunteer engagement success stories, resources, ideas and materials among folks in various geographic areas. This will help to sustain current gains, share strategies, and ensure that libraries new to Get Involved are exposed and mentored to achieve their own successes.

The Bay Area Network has scheduled 3 FREE workshops -- San Francisco March 2, Marina April 9 and San Jose May 4. Workshop Flyer with registration and contact information. Lunch and potential for regional travel reimbursement are part of the deal, so check it out! If you can't make it to one of their workshops, at least let them know if you're interested in being kept informed of Bay Area activities.

Bay Area:
Cathy Andrews - Monterey County -
Jennifer Baker - St. Helena -
Kai Wilson - San Francisco -
Joan Young - San Jose -

The other 3 networks are gearing up too, so if you haven't made contact with them yet, here's how -- and many thanks to ALL these folks who've stepped up to take the lead!

Sacramento Region:
Randi-Kay Stephens- Sacramento -
Gail McGrath- Roseville -

Central Valley:
Sherry Gomez- Kern County -
Elizabeth Finkle- Fresno County -

Southern California:
Hillary Theyer- Torrance -
Monica Miltko- Huntington Beach -