Please note: due to the upcoming retirement of our current volunteer coordinator, we will not be processing volunteer applications beginning November 1, 2018. We hope to have a new volunteer coordinator by early January. Feel free to submit an application after November 1 but know that you will not hear from us until sometime in January, to give the new coordinator time to transition into the position. Thanks for your patience!
Is it time to get involved with your community? To give back? To share your skills? To push yourself to try something new?
We have volunteers from all walks and stages of life. They volunteer for all kinds of reasons, but they all choose the library because they love what we stand for: free access to information, a chance to connect with the community, and a place to learn, grow, and create. If you want to become a part of this mission and of the Tompkins County Public Library team, read on...
What can volunteers do?
Below is a sample of volunteer jobs. Many volunteer jobs are seasonal and/or temporary. Once you complete a volunteer application, you will meet with the volunteer coordinator who will describe the various jobs that are available. Together you will create a plan that works best for you and the library.
How do I apply?
Apply online. This is the fastest way to get started. The volunteer coordinator will email you within two business days to set up an appointment with you for an interview and to discuss the best volunteer opportunity for you and your schedule. (Please note that we will not be processing applications between November 1, 2018 and mid-January 2019 due to the transition to a new volunteer coordinator.)
Pick up a paper application at the Circulation or Reference Desk and mail in or return to the library. The volunteer coordinator will email you within a week to set up an appointment with you for an interview.
Note: Applicants must be at least 14 years old to volunteer. Applicants who are 12 or 13 years old may apply if they can ensure that an adult guardian or parent will be present in the library for the duration of the volunteer shifts.
Registered volunteers can login to view schedules or check in and out during shifts.
Can I just walk in and start volunteering?
Unfortunately, no. All volunteers must complete an application and be interviewed by the volunteer coordinator before they are accepted as a volunteer. Please count on at least a week or two between the time you submit an application and when you start your service. We have a high volume of requests, so your patience is appreciated!
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
Applicants must be at least 14 years old to volunteer. Applicants who are 12 or 13 years old may apply if they can ensure that an adult guardian or parent will be present in the library for the duration of the volunteer shifts. No one under 12 is allowed to volunteer.
The court is requiring me to do community service. Do you accept this type of volunteer?
If your crime is a nonviolent crime, you may volunteer here. You will be required to let the volunteer coordinator know the nature of your crime/offense so that they can let you know if you are eligible.
Please note that any volunteer who needs a signature validating their service for the courts or JA at their school can volunteer only during the times the Volunteer Coordinator is present in the building.
Do I get paid?
No, the library does not pay volunteers for their service. That said, we work with a number of organizations that do pay the person and support that person as they learn job skills. If you're interested in this, we can discuss this during your interview and the volunteer coordinator can inform you of these organizations.
Can I be turned down or terminated?
Yes, the library reserves the right to not accept a volunteer request. There are a variety of reasons why this may be the case:
- The applicant may not possess the skills we need for the service we need.
- The applicant may have committed a recent violent crime that we feel may put library patrons or staff at risk.
- The applicant is a persona non grata.
- The applicant/volunteer has not adhered to our library's code of conduct.
- The volunteer has been a no call/no show for a few weeks.