Volunteering at the JPL
The JPL depends and greatly appreciates its volunteers, who contribute their time and special skills for the benefit of the diverse population served by the Library. Volunteers can work individually or as part of a team and receive personalized training and ongoing support from staff members. Some of the benefits of volunteering are:
- Enhancing your talents and skills, as well as gaining new skills
- Obtaining valuable work experience
- Exploring career possibilities by working in an area of your choice
- Acquiring new friends and professional contacts
- Gaining greater understanding of people at different stages of life and from diverse economic and social backgrounds and becoming involved in community issues
- Receiving letters of reference and enhancing your résumé
- Gaining personal satisfaction
As a volunteer, you are an indispensable part of the community. By performing small and large tasks, you supplement and enhance the work of the Library’s professional staff. Your interaction with patrons can add warmth and purpose to their lives. You also increase the community’s awareness of the Library and its mission.
Responsibilities of the volunteer
Volunteering is a rewarding experience when all participants – volunteer, staff, and patrons – have mutual respect and a desire to cooperate in meeting recognized needs.
As a volunteer you are expected to:
- Accept only responsibilities you can handle and take volunteer work seriously
- Be on time, advise your supervisor if you are going to be late
- Fulfill your commitment as staff and patrons depend on you, notify your supervisor in advance if you cannot maintain your commitment
- Establish a good relationship by being open and honest with staff
- Participate in any training programs that may be arranged
- Respect confidences that staff and patrons may share with you
- Respect the confidentiality of information with regard to patrons, staff and Library lay personnel that you may be privy to in the course of your volunteer work
- Immediately advise your supervisor or a member of the Volunteer Committee if problems occur during your time as a volunteer
- Should you decide to terminate your work as a volunteer with us, please notify your supervisor as soon as possible, with a minimum of 2 weeks notice.
Volunteer opportunities at the JPL
The Jewish Public Library has many departments, programs and services. Please see below for a description of some of the possibilities. However, if you have other ideas, please feel free to contact us.
Books on Wheels
The Library provides a homebound delivery service for members who are unable to visit the library and are dependent on the program for reading material. We depend on volunteers to pick up and deliver material. We need new volunteers to expand the program as the demand for this service is growing.
Volunteer assistance is required to telephone patrons with reminders, to check the shelves if patrons claim the materials were returned, and to follow up until the materials required by other patrons is returned.
Shelving and Shelf Reading
Books travel a great deal and need to return to their proper places in the library in order to circulate again. There is an ongoing need to return books to shelves, as well as to “read” the shelves to ensure that materials are in order, to check the shelves against bibliographic reports, and to change the status of materials on the database when items are missing.
Book Sale Assistant
Volunteers help us to sort through donations of books, determine which items are for sale, which might be added to the library collection, and which must be disposed of in another manner. The volunteer checks titles on the database, prices items and organizes the book sale shelves and display. This is an ideal job for an aspiring entrepreneur as this program is an invaluable fundraiser that supports the Library book budget. Volunteers with the book sale also receive discounts on book purchases.
For more information on volunteering in the adult library, please send your CV and cover letter to [email protected] or call 514.734.1497
Volunteering in the Norman Berman Children’s Library
The Children’s Library requires volunteers in the following areas:
- To shelve books and do shelf-reading
- Check in new books, verify database, process the books and affix security labels.
- Repair books
- Telephone assistance in calling parents about programs and work in support of the Birthday Book Fundraising Project.
Volunteer work is not meant to replace paid positions. If you are interested in volunteering with the Norman Berman Children’s Library, please send your CV and cover letter to [email protected]
Volunteering in the Jewish Public Library Archives
The Archives offers meaningful mentorship to its volunteers. Depending on the experience of the volunteer, we can adapt volunteer packages that include these tasks and others
- Validating inventories
- Curating vitrines
- Creating content for social media
- Learning reference workflows
- Custom box-making for rare books
Volunteer work is not meant to replace paid positions. If you are interested in volunteering with the Archives, please send your CV and cover letter to [email protected] or call 514.734.1372.