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Grow Your Library Volunteers!

2017 May 12
by Jennifer Peters

Would you like to expand your programming and services using trained volunteers? TSLAC has partnered with four state libraries on The Get Involved Collaborative, an IMLS grant-funded project that provides training and resources on skilled volunteer engagement to public libraries.

Why trained volunteers? As library budgets remain flat, and the need for services increases, trained volunteers are an untapped resource. Skilled volunteers can provide support to libraries in areas such as graphic design, public relations, grant writing, and event planning. Thanks to online recruitment tools, libraries in communities of all sizes can recruit local volunteers or search outside their communities for volunteers who can work remotely.

How do you get started?

  • Claim a VolunteerMatch Premium account. VolunteerMatch is a nationally-recognized online volunteer management system, and, through the grant, accredited Texas public libraries have access to enhanced Premium accounts through 2019. You can request an account here.
  • Register for an expense-paid bootcamp on volunteer engagement in Austin on September 12-13, 2017. TSLAC will accept up to 40 library staff (1 per library, please) to attend this intensive workshop, run by a volunteer engagement expert, and held at the funky Lone Star Court at The Domain.  You can download a copy of the application from our webpage. The application, plus a letter of support from your Library Director, is due by June 9.
  • Visit the Get Involved Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse was originally developed by the California State Library, and has been expanded to all of the state libraries participating in the grant. It contains all sorts of volunteer management resources, including archived webinars on volunteer engagement, handbooks, sample job descriptions, photographs that you can use to recruit volunteers, upcoming training events, and more.
  • Attend Monday’s webinar titled “Volunteers—More Work? Or More Work Force?,” hosted by the Idaho Commission for Libraries, one of our partners on this grant. The webinar will be held at 1:30PM CST, and will be recorded. You can join the webinar here: https://icfl.adobeconnect.com/_a951056399/ce. More information on the webinar is available at the Get Involved Clearinghouse.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Peters, Community Engagement Administrator, at jpeters@tsl.texas.gov or 512-463-2214.

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