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 part 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.
- Circulation Assistant
- Digital Learning Lab Coach
- Maker Mondays Volunteer
- Makerspace Trainer
- Special Events Volunteer
- Technical Services Assistant
- Teen Blogger
- Youth Services Assistant
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.
You can also pick up a paper application at the Circulation or Reference Desk and mail it in or return it to the library. The Volunteer Coordinator will e-mail 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 their volunteer 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 court-mandated service 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 are 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 several weeks.