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Volunteers Policy (1.501.1)


Friends of the Bellingham Public Library: a registered nonprofit group of volunteer dues-paying members. They help serve the community by encouraging community support of the library, raising money for library needs, sponsoring educational and enrichment programs, and encouraging literacy by offering free reading material and reasonably priced items through sales.

Unions: AFSCME 114 and AFSCME 114L are the labor unions representing library staff.


  1. Library welcomes volunteers from the community.
    • Bellingham Public Library engages the talents and energies of community members in order to enhance library services. Volunteers support the staff and mission of the public library, strengthening the relationship between the community and the library.
  2. Library Volunteer Program offers specific volunteer opportunities.
    • Library volunteers support and supplement but do not supplant or replace library staff work. Library volunteers are not used to do bargaining unit work unless previously agreed between the library and the labor unions. The Library Volunteer Program offers volunteer opportunities in:
      • Helping maintain a welcoming environment through orderly arrangement of library materials, and cleaning library materials
      • Helping provide programming for adults and children
    • Library staff are responsible for recruiting, training, and supervising volunteers in the Library Volunteer Program. Library staff follow City of Bellingham Policies regarding volunteers.
  3. Friends of the Bellingham Public Library offer additional volunteer opportunities.
    • The Friends offer a variety of year-round and seasonal volunteer opportunities for community members interested in supporting the Library. These include:
      • Encouraging and advocating for community support of the library
      • Sponsoring and supporting educational and enrichment programs
      • Organizing and staffing periodic and ongoing sales
      • Sorting, categorizing and pricing donations
      • Retrieving donations from donors who request help
      • Maintaining the free book and magazine collections
    • As a nonprofit organization, the Friends govern themselves through their Board and bylaws. They are responsible for recruiting, training and supervising Friends volunteers.
  4. Library does not participate in the Community Service Program.
    • Due to lack of library staff who can supervise probationers, the Library does not participate in the Community Service program operated by the Whatcom County District Court Probation. Probationers are encouraged to contact the Whatcom Volunteer Center for volunteer opportunities.
  5. Library Board reviews this policy.
    • This policy is periodically reviewed, revised, or reaffirmed by the Library Board of Trustees.


Code: 1 Administration Services
Chapter: 1.500 Volunteers
Type of Policy: Departmental
Date Developed: 14 June 2004
Date Revised: 18 October 2011
Revised by: Pam Kiesner
Developed by: Gayle Helgoe
Approved By: Library Board of Trustees
See Also:
Library policies:
1.801 Library Safety and Security
1.802 Library Building Security
City of Bellingham policies:
PER 01.00.06 Defining Employment Status
PER 03.00.01 Recruitment and Selection of Employees
PER 14.01.01 Employee Safety
PER 15.05.01 Employee Recognition