Volunteering for Library Experience (Thing 22, CPD23)

I’ve never volunteered at a library, partly because I’m fortunate to work for one! I’ve been on the receiving end of volunteers, though, mostly as an internship supervisor of library students from the local library schools. While I’ve had a couple of non-library-student volunteers, I’ve learned that having library students who have had cataloging class recently, and who are committed a regular schedule for an entire semester because they’re getting academic credit, are an especially good fit. Granted, doing an internship for academic credit is different from volunteering. There’s no pay here in either case, but there’s the extra incentive of the grade, even if it’s Pass/Fail.

I’m hoping to do an internship of my own, but I’m not sure if time will permit extra long-term volunteer gigs, especially since I’m working full-time and going to class on top of that. I did look on the local public library’s website for volunteering opportunities, and the application asks for availability Monday through Friday during morning or afternoon hours. Since I’m working my regular job during those time periods, volunteering there doesn’t seem feasible.

I’m pretty certain I’ll be able to make a library-related internship happen, but since I already have library experience, I’m not sure about straight out volunteer work at this point. Since free time after my library job and classes is short because of studying, an extra volunteer gig at this point would have to be out of the ordinary, and maybe even something non-library related. Every once in a while, a gal needs a change of pace. 🙂

Here the post for Thing 22 of the CPD23 blog.


About Lesley Looper

I'm a full-time library employee. I enjoy reading, photography, travel, blogging, and geocaching.
This entry was posted in Class, Libraries, Professional Development, Skills, Work and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Volunteering for Library Experience (Thing 22, CPD23)

  1. Ge Ge says:

    Hi Lesley,
    Thank you for sharing your concerns about library voluntaring experiences. My MLIS program allows for students opt-out if they currenly work in a library. One question i have for you- would it be possible for you to develop/create a project that speaks to the challenges of completing a library practicum. Or even developing a survival toolkit for current students who need to complete a practicum. I would be interested to see what tools you use at work to train ctaloging students/interns. As in the past, I find Intro to Cataloging classes aren’t enough to prepare students to take on the task of the full experience. What suggestions would you have for prospective catalogers (i.e. training courses online, list-serves)?

  2. Lesley says:

    I really like your idea! I’ve been thinking about developing a small manual for our cataloging interns, something along the lines of a “new employee orientation manual,” but for cataloging interns. Since the interns I work with have already had cataloging class, usually just the semester before, I envision it being a combination of cataloging class review and local procedures and technologies used to get the job done in our department.

    I’m glad you asked the question about online training and list-serves. Now that’s something I want to explore as well!

    Many thanks for commenting! Great food for thought on a quiet Sunday morning! 🙂

    • Lesley says:

      A quick search just now revealed a really nice website for cataloging & catalogers put together by the University of Georgia at http://www.libs.uga.edu/catalog/tutorial/

      While some of the training on the website is facilitated by the download of LiveWeb, I clicked on several of the links and found some interesting information! Check it out and let me know what you think!

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