Get Involved: Getting Staff Buy-In
What if library staff are not supportive of engaging volunteers – How can you get them to buy in?
Be sure to give staff a chance to voice and talk about their concerns, involve them in the planning process, showcase success stories, give them the training they need, and show them how volunteers can help to expand services. Let them participate in design of volunteer position descriptions and training programs. The library director should play a very visible and positive role in explaining why volunteerism is important to the library.
And remember - you don't have to start with a full blown library-wide volunteer program. Start with a "Pilot Project" or two with staff who are interested and willing to try. Once you have some successes to share with other staff, it will make them less resistant to the idea.
On the right you'll find a 5 minute video, as well as a volunteer job description, training plan and volunteer agreement, for the Story Time Volunteer position created at the Roseville Public Library.
- Story Time Conductor Volunteer Position Description, Roseville, CA
- Story Time Training Guide
- Story Time Conductor Volunteer Agreement, Roseville, CA
- Addressing Common Staff Concerns About Volunteers
- Build Staff Buy-In for Volunteer Engagement webinar – Jennifer Bennett from VolunteerMatch discusses strategies for working with paid staff to engage volunteers. (June 2013, 60 minutes)
- Stories from the Front Lines: Getting Staff Buy-In webinar – Jennifer Rackow features library leaders employing successful strategies to engage staff (October 2010, 60 minutes)
- Addressing Common Staff Concerns About Volunteers – This is adapted from Carla Lehn's book, "Volunteer Involvement in California Libraries: Best Practices." The complete book may be found online here: http://www.library.ca.gov/lds/getinvolved/resources.html#involve Also, Carla's online course in volunteer engagement is available free here: http://www.transforminglifeafter50.org/tools-ideas/volunteers
Questions about the Get Involved Initiative