Volunteer Jobs

These are some of the jobs for which we need Library Volunteers.

Title: Circulation Assistant

Description: This position will be working at the Front Desk with staff to assist with the simple circulation of materials. The majority of work in this position involves sorting library materials as they are returned ensuring that book drops are collected at least hourly. This person also assists staff by, shelving audio/video materials and checks shelving for accuracy. This volunteer must demonstrate exceptional customer service skills and the ability to maintain a positive teamwork atmosphere by communicating with patrons, co-workers and supervisors.

Contact: Volunteer Coordinator, volunteercoordinator@tcpl.org, 607-272-4557 ext. 226.

Supervisors: Jen S. ext. 254, Keith V. ext. 242, Carol V., ext. 265

Job duties

  • Helps with emptying book drop
  • Collecting and sorting returned library materials from circulation bins
  • Basic sorting of library materials by limited criteria
  • Re-shelving audio-visual items such as DVDs, CDs, tapes, etc.
  • Dividing audio-visual material items by item type, and placing them in alphabetical or numerical order


  • Ability to alphabetize and place things in numerical order
  • Referring patron inquiries to staff

Physical Requirements: This job requires a significant level of physical activity, including standing, walking, and moving circulation bins that may weigh up to 20 pounds.

Hours: Volunteers are expected to maintain a regular, weekly schedule, and to call in or otherwise notify circulation if they cannot be in. Bin Emptier is a position only for volunteers who will be working for an extended period; long-term, open-ended commitments are preferred.

Notes: These volunteers often work with dusty, dirty items and should dress appropriately, while at the same time being mindful that they are near the front of the library and should reflect positively on the library.

Title:Technical Processing Assistant

Contact person: Volunteer Coordinator, 607-272-4557 ext. 226, volunteercoordinator@tcpl.org

Supervisor: Melanie P., ext. 246

Job duties

  • Responsible for physical processing of new books and audiovisual materials
  • Stamping and marking books that are being discarded
  • Placing media in new cases to replace old, worn cases
  • Adding Covers, applying appropriate labels, stamping, and otherwise marking new materials
  • Moving boxes of material


  • Must master assigned procedures and be reliable in handling extreme details.
  • Ability to follow very exacting standards.
  • Capable of following instructions with great precision.
  • Willingness to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Must be able to get along with fellow employees.
  • Must be able to push a fully loaded book cart and lift 30 pound boxes.
  • Must maintain appropriate dress and personal hygiene.
  • Must be able to work under busy conditions which may cause stress.

The physical activities of this position are:

Stooping: Bending body downward and forward by bending spine at the waist. This factor is important as it requires full use of the lower extremities and back muscles.
Kneeling: Bending legs at knee to come to a rest on knee or knees.
Reaching: Extending hand(s) and arm(s) in any direction.
Walking: Moving about on foot to accomplish tasks, particularly for long distances.
Pushing: Using upper extremities to press against something with steady force.
Lifting: Raising objects from a lower to a higher position or moving objects horizontally from position-to-position.
Grasping: Applying pressure to an object with the fingers and palm.
Repetitive motions: Substantial movements (motions) of the wrists, hand and/or fingers.

Hours:  Technical Processing Assistants are expected to maintain a regular, weekly schedule, and to call in or otherwise notify Tech. Services if they cannot be in. Hours are available only during weekdays 9am-5pm.

Title: Community Service Volunteer

Community Service Volunteers complete a range of short term projects including substituting for absent volunteers in a variety of departments as well as performing cleaning projects throughout the library. These projects are extremely valuable to our organization and help enhance the library atmosphere for our patrons.

Contact person: Volunteer Coordinator: 607-272-4557 ext. 226, VolunteerCoordinator@tcpl.org

Job duties

  • Substituting for absent volunteers in our Circulation Department. (Please see job description for Circulation Assistant.)
  • Cleaning computer stations in the Adult and Youth Services areas.    Please note that there are instructions on what types of cleaning materials should be used on computer components.
  • Dusting library shelves.  Cleaning supplies will be provided to you as well as instructions regarding which areas of the library you will be responsible for.
  • Pulling the spines of all books neatly to the edge of the shelf so that they can be easily read by patrons.
  • Books that are out of order or lying on shelves and tables can be collected and placed in discard bins located throughout the library.
  • Book Cleaning in our Youth Services Department.   Cleaning supplies will be provided to you as well as instructions on which sections you will be responsible for.


  • Be on time and committed to the program; this is a publicized public program, so it is imperative you are on time and committed to the program.

Hours: Community Service Volunteers are expected to maintain a regular schedule determined by the Volunteer Coordinator and the applicant. Volunteers are expected to give the Volunteer Coordinator as much notice as possible if they are unable to fulfill their obligation. Unexcused absences will result in the termination of the agreement and applicants will need to seek the fulfillment of their hours elsewhere.

Title: Reader is In Volunteer

Reading to children is one of the best volunteer jobs around! How can you resist reading to energetic, adorable, little kids?  When you share the joy of reading with young children, you not only enrich their language and literacy skills, you have an opportunity to bond with them and teach them social skills. Most importantly, you inspire them to become lifelong learners.

Contact person: Volunteer Coordinator 607-272-4557 ext. 226, Volunteercoordinator@tcpl.org

Supervisor: 607-272-4557 ext. 275 youthsvcs@tcpl.org

Job duties

  • Approach parents and children introducing yourself and sharing information about the program.
  • Read a variety of children’s books with clarity and enthusiasm based the age and development of the child.
  • Read to children one-on-one and/or in small groups.
  • Develop and apply innovative and appropriate reading techniques that create interest, understanding and enthusiasm amongst children.
  • Maintain necessary records of caregivers’ name and contact information.
  • Maintain and record number of program participants.
  • Maintain regular reading schedule of one hour weekly.
  • You must attend a regularly scheduled staff reading before beginning to read.


  • You must love to read.
  • Enjoy young, energetic children with wide ranging attention spans.
  • Be on time and committed to the program; this is a publicized public program, so it is imperative you are on time and committed to the program.
  • Be able to positively redirect unpleasant behavior in a gentle, nonjudgmental way.
  • Be able to read favorite books over, and over, and over again.

Hours:Reader is In Volunteers are expected to maintain a regular, weekly schedule. Volunteers are expected to give the Volunteer Coordinator and the Youth Services Department as much notice as possible if they are unable to fulfill their obligation.

Title: Shelf Reading Volunteers

Purpose:  To help maintain the order and appearance of the Library shelves so that patrons can locate materials in a timely manner.
Contact person: Volunteer Coordinator 607-272-4557 ext. 226, Volunteercoordinator@tcpl.org
Supervisor: To be determined

Job duties

This work involves checking the Library shelves for accurate placement of books and other materials. You need to have a good command of the English language, the alphabet, and the sequencing of numbers using decimals to place items in correct Dewey Decimal order.  You are responsible for keeping shelves neat by aligning books with front edge of shelf whenever possible, shifting books when necessary to make them evenly distributed on designated shelves and tightening the book ends.

Personal Traits

  • Detail oriented
  • Pleasant and courteous
  • Dependable
  • Be able to stand and squat repeatedly, using a foot stool
  • Attention to detail
  • Work well independently
  • Able to use alphabetical and numerical filing systems
  • Able to follow written and oral instructions
  • Able to work independently following training
  • Able to keep track of time worked by signing in and out
  • Able to interact well with staff
  • Able to concentrate and pay attention to details

Detailed description of task

  • Go to the assigned area and make sure the items are in correct order by reading the call number on the spine (or front cover) of each item
  • Rearrange items as necessary

If a large number are out of order, notify the supervisor.

Page last modified Nov 29, 2013