Volunteer Policy

Statement of Purpose

The Patten Free Library uses the services of volunteers to supplement the efforts of paid library staff in meeting demands for quality public service. Volunteers are liaisons to the community and by their contribution are advocates for library services. The library and its volunteers work together to meet the goals and mission of the organization.

Definition of a Volunteer

A volunteer is a person who performs tasks for the Patten Free Library without wages, benefits, or compensation of any kind. Examples include Corporators, Trustees, members of the Friends, shelvers, and book processors. Volunteers must be 14 years or older to be eligible for regular volunteer work. Younger volunteers may be allowed to do special projects with their parents.

Selection of Volunteers

Prospective volunteers are requested to fill out an application form and will be contacted once the form is received. If there are no suitable volunteer opportunities, application forms will be kept on file for a period of one year. Applicants will be notified when a project is identified which matches their interests or qualifications. New volunteers will be given a Volunteer Guidelines document to review and sign.


  • All personal information about a volunteer is for internal use only and is confidential.
  • Written parental permission is needed to allow a youth under the age of 18 to volunteer.
  • Volunteers are recognized by the public as representatives of the library and shall behave as such.
  • The library reserves the right to run background checks on any volunteer applicant age 18 or older.

Supervision of Volunteers

Volunteers will work directly with library staff members to receive training and complete projects. All volunteers will be assigned one or more primary staff member to guide them in their work; however, staff members may offer guidance to any of the volunteers.


Approved by the Patten Free Library Board of Trustees 12/13/16
Reviewed 11/5/18, 10/5/20