Forsyth County Public Library appreciates your interest in volunteering
your time, talents, and energy in support of the Library. We recognize
the valuable contributions that volunteers make as they assist Library
staff in serving the Forsyth County community.
Public libraries serve a unique function in the community, and
volunteering to serve at your library can offer many personal rewards.
For instance, as a volunteer you can:
Expand your knowledge.
Make a meaningful contribution to the community.
Meet new people.
Learn first-hand about the Library's services, programs, and policies.
Better understand the important role the Library plays in the community.
Interested in Volunteering?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Volunteer?
A volunteer is a person who contributes his/her time, energy, and talents and performs tasks or services of his/her own free will, without expectation or receipt of wages, benefits, or compensation of any kind.
What Do Volunteers Do?
Volunteer openings may be available at different times in different departments of the Library. Some needs might be ongoing, while others might be short-term or seasonal. For instance, volunteers may be needed to sort and shelve library materials throughout the year, to help out during children's programs in summer, or to help with a one-time project of unpacking and labeling new materials.
Please understand that volunteer work is not glamorous – in fact, most volunteers perform support tasks that are manual and repetitive in nature. Many people are surprised at how physically demanding library work can be, and don't realize that it involves repetitive hand motions, lifting items of varying weights, and a significant amount of standing, walking, carrying, bending, stooping, and twisting motions. Before applying for a volunteer assignment, you should review the physical demands of the position to ensure you can safely perform the work.
What are the Qualifications to Volunteer?
- Volunteers must be at least age 16. (Exceptions may be made for volunteers for the Summer Reading Program and other programs targeted to children.)
- Volunteers must be able to make a specific time commitment, which varies by assignment. (Examples: A shelving assignment might ask volunteers to commit to at least 6 hours per week for at least 6 months. A special project assignment might ask volunteers to commit for the duration of the project.)
- Volunteers must have the skills and the physical ability to perform the work involved in the assignment.
- Volunteers must successfully pass a background check before commencing an assignment.
Refer to the Volunteer Handbook for details about the Volunteer Program, becoming a volunteer, and expectations of volunteers.
How Can I Learn About Volunteer Openings?
New volunteer openings are posted at the Volunteer Openings page of the Library's website. The quickest way to learn of new opportunities is to sign up to receive email Volunteer Alerts whenever new openings are posted. Each posting will describe the responsibilities, qualifications, location, and time commitment involved.
How Do I Become a Volunteer?
When a volunteer opening is posted at our website, you can apply by submitting a Volunteer Application before the deadline on the posting. Applications are only accepted while the position is posted, and will not be accepted after the deadline. Each application should reflect the opening in which you are interested. (Note: Applicants who are not selected for current openings may request that their applications be reconsidered for opportunities posted within one year of the original application by emailing FCPLVolunteers@forsythpl.org.)
We will review all applications received during the posting period and identify the applicants who most closely match the position's requirements. Applicants can expect to undergo telephone screening, skills testing, interviews, and background checks.
Why Is Skills Testing Required?
The library's collection of books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials must be kept in a precise order so items can be quickly found when needed. Almost all library work requires the ability to put items in alphabetical or numerical order. Unfortunately, experience has shown that not everyone can easily organize items and place them in the designated order. Skills testing helps identify those with the skills to successfully perform this type of work, and helps to ensure that library patrons and staff can quickly find the items they seek.
Why is a Background Check Required?
To promote a safe work environment for patrons, staff, and volunteers, criminal background checks will be required of all potential volunteers. In addition, individuals in volunteer assignments that involve operation of a motor vehicle (either a personal vehicle or library vehicle) in the course of the volunteer work will be required to undergo driving history checks. The Library recognizes the sensitivity of information contained within background reports and will maintain confidentiality of information.
Why does the Library ask volunteers to commit a specific amount of time?
This is primarily because of the time it takes a new volunteer to become oriented to the library. For instance, volunteers who will be shelving materials will learn the Dewey Decimal system and become familiar with the location of each part of the library's collection. And volunteers who will be processing materials need time to learn the various markings that must be made to maintain consistency of the different types of materials. Other tasks, such as clerical support, may not require as much training, and may not involve as long of a time commitment.
Can I Perform Community Service Work at the Library?
Although we recognize the value of community service associated with school projects or civic organizations, we do not typically offer those types of volunteer assignments. The Library does not offer court-ordered community service hours.
Can Every Applicant Expect to be Accepted as a Volunteer?
No. There may be more qualified volunteers than available opportunities. Applicants for volunteer assignments will be selected based on their qualifications in relation to the Library's operational needs and their ability to commit to a consistent schedule of volunteer hours. The Library maintains the right to deny a volunteer position to anyone it feels is unsuitable for any reason.
Would Volunteers Receive Priority Consideration for Employment with the Library?
If a paid library position should become open, current volunteers may apply and be considered under the same conditions as current staff members. Depending on the nature of the volunteer assignment and the paid position, the volunteer work may provide relevant experience.