volunteer

Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. (JCLI) has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards honoring our amazing volunteers, including best nonprofit volunteer program in Oregon by the Governor’s Volunteer Awards in 2014, and Volunteer Group of the Year by the city of Grants Pass in 2016. We have a wide variety of volunteer positions available, so if you’re interested in spending time with the greatest volunteers on earth, read on for just a sampling of current positions available. Training is provided for all volunteer positions.

about our volunteers

Because of JCLI’s unique model as a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization, JCLI volunteers do everything required to run the libraries. This ranges from cataloging and shelving books and providing information to library users, to hosting children’s storytimes and checking books in and out. Volunteers also provide behind-the-scenes expertise, including marketing, communications, fundraising, outreach, facilities maintenance, and more.

An average of 193 hard-working volunteers work about 2,300 hours each month. In the 2015 calendar year, the roster of 360 volunteers worked a total of 28,284 hours, which is equivalent to 13.6 full-time-equivalent employees, or $637,821. JCLI volunteers are clearly dedicated and passionate about their work.

After the four-branch library system was closed due to a county funding crisis in 2007, about a hundred concerned citizens — all of them volunteers who deeply believed in the importance of libraries — joined together, brainstormed solutions, and founded “Josephine Community Libraries, Inc.” as a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to reopening and operating the libraries.

These volunteers succeeded in developing a new organization, building awareness, raising money, and finally reopening the four libraries throughout 2009. Many still volunteer several times a week, offering training for new volunteers and a familiar face for long-time patrons. To this day, as supported by only nine full-time-equivalent staff members, about 360 volunteers continue to operate the entire four-branch library system.

Simply put, without the amazing dedication and efforts of the hundreds of JCLI volunteer staff, library services would not exist in Josephine County.

volunteer opportunities

Grants Pass information desk. JCLI is looking for volunteers interested in assisting patrons at our Grants Pass library Information Desk. Volunteers answer questions about library programs, help search the online catalog for requested material, provide Library2Go eReader guidance, and assist patrons on our public computers. Grateful patrons also appreciate volunteers’ assistance with in-depth research using our wide variety of databases. Volunteers are asked to commit to a 2½-hour shift once a week.

Grants Pass children’s library. Children’s Helper volunteers promote children’s services within the library, as well as family services that take place with partners within our community. They also assist patrons with catalog searches, and help parents and children become familiar with library collections and services. Volunteers in our children’s library are rewarded with smiling faces and hugs from children who often ask, “How many books can I take home with me?”

VolunTEEN program. Each summer, the library recruits volunteers who are 13–17 years old to assist in the children’s library during the Summer Reading Program. VolunTEENS register participants, help with crafts, and read to children in a friendly, busy environment during a 2.5-hour shift. Through the volunTEEN program, children ages 13–17 have the opportunity to enhance their résumé and receive a letter of recommendation to use for scholarships and job applications in the future.

Illinois Valley, Williams, and Wolf Creek branches. Our very busy rural branch libraries have increased hours to better serve local residents. Increased hours leads to increased need for volunteers; more books to shelve, more patrons using computers, and more kids to read to! Perks include a flexible time commitment, a wonderful team of volunteers to work with, and the chance to make a difference in your community. Click to see branch hours, and stop in or call to learn more about the variety of opportunities available.

interested in volunteering?

If you’re interested in these positions or other ways to volunteer for our libraries, please email info@josephinelibrary.org or call 541-476-0571.

Updated 6/9/2017