West Plains Public Library


West Plains Public Library Volunteer Policy

      The West Plains Public Library places a high value on volunteers and their dedication to public service.  We depend on volunteers and the contributions of time, skills and commitment that they give.  As a result, we consider it important that our volunteers meet certain standards of the library.


Definition of a volunteer: Volunteers are identified as persons who regularly perform duties or tasks for the library without wages or benefits other than Workers’ Compensation.  The volunteers described in this policy are independent from the Friends of the Library volunteers who are governed by their own policies and bylaws.


  • Community service workers are not technically volunteers since they are required by the courts to give service hours. However, for the purposes of the library, they will be considered volunteers and will operate under the same restrictions.
  • Volunteers will not take the place of paid staff. They will provide special, unusual or supplemental services and will be recruited for specific jobs rather than on a general basis.

Application Process: Volunteers must complete an application form and be age 12 or older.  Volunteers under 17 years of age must have written permission from a parent or guardian to volunteer at the library.

  • Before placement, volunteer applicant will be interviewed by the Library Director and Administrative Assistant.


Placement of Volunteer: Volunteers will only be placed if there is a suitable job match, i.e. when skills, interests, schedule and transportation are considered.  If there is not a job available, the volunteer will be informed that his/her application will be kept on file for one year, and he/she will be contacted when there is an opening.

  • The Library Director shall designate a Volunteer Coordinator to oversee the use of volunteers. Each department that uses volunteers shall designate a Volunteer Supervisor to train, supervise and evaluate volunteers.


Attendance: Volunteers must carefully plan ahead for the days and hours they can work.  The library staff and patrons are depending on them to work during their scheduled time.  If for some reason the schedule cannot be kept, the library must be contacted as soon as possible.  Each volunteer will be asked to work an average of four hours a week for at least eight weeks.


  • Volunteers must complete a time sheet. Sheets must be signed by the supervisor and forwarded to the administrative office.
  • Volunteers with over 100 hours of volunteer service will be recognized with a book purchased and donated to the library in their name.

Conduct: Volunteers are recognized by the public as representatives of the library and shall be guided by the same work and behavior code as employees.  Volunteers may have access to staff restrooms and break room during their work hours.  Friends and family are welcome to visit in the main library only.  However, we ask that they do not interfere with the volunteer’s work or service to library patrons.  Volunteers should refrain from making personal phone calls.


Dress: Attire should always be neat, clean and comfortable.  No shorts, or tee shirts with slogans should be worn.  Attire should be appropriate for the type of work assigned and not offensive to the staff or the public.  Ask the Library Director or Assistant any questions regarding dress standards.  Volunteers will be asked to wear a volunteer tag for identification during volunteer service.


Conflicts: The library staff is open to suggestions and comments which may help better serve the volunteer and library patrons.  Conflicts with policies, procedures or job duties should be discussed with the Library Director or Assistant.  We want to make the volunteer experience a successful one for the volunteer and for the library.


Dismissals: The Library Director and the Assistant reserve the right to dismiss a volunteer for inappropriate behavior or for lingering concerns, such as unresponsiveness to corrective counseling.  Examples of inappropriate behavior are:

            ˜ Repeated absences

            ˜ Consistently poor performance of duties

            ˜ Destruction of theft of the library’s or another individual’s property

            ˜ Possession of firearms, alcohol or controlled substances on the library’s property                          or reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

            ˜ Public displays of abusive or disruptive behavior

            ˜ Abusive language or conduct toward staff or other volunteers

            ˜ Invasion of privacy of library patrons, staff or volunteers

            ˜ Misuse of any library records, including electronic data


            At the end of a volunteer’s tenure with the library, the Library Director will conduct an exit interview.  A volunteer’s file will be retained for three years.

For an application, please see a clerk at the circulation desk. 



Revision regarding age of minors approved at the June 17, 2002 meeting of the West Plains Public Library Board of Trustees, Peggy Kissinger, President.

Search for Library Materials Button

My Account Button

Missouri Libraries 2 Go Button

EBSCO eBooks Button

Resource Spotlight

Newest Resources!

VetNow Button

Book Connections Button

Teen Health and Wellness Button