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Volunteer at the Library


Volunteer Application

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is seeking bright, energetic people who want to work in a rewarding environment. If you are looking for a way to spend extra hours in your day, volunteering at the library is a great opportunity to help others and stay connected to one of the most resourceful organizations in the community.

Kari If you have questions or would like to donate your time,
call Kari Zimmerman 785-580-4490 or contact her by email.




Here are a few of the volunteer opportunities available:

  • Meet fascinating people, including major authors and speakers, by hosting special events.
  • Enrich the lives of children by assisting with crafts or storytelling programs.
  • Help lbrary staff efficiency by offering clerical and technical assistance.
  • Turn used books into “treasure” by working in the Friends Booktique and/or assist other volunteers prepare for the annual Book Sale.
  • Greet visitors to the library with a smile and useful directional information.

  • Promote the library by assisting with mailings and other activities.
  • Add the personal touch by helping patrons use library computers or copy machines.
  • Assist the Red Carpet staff deliver material to patrons unable to come to the Library.
  • Research and list books online for the Friends of the Library
  • Learn valuable job skills by becoming a Teen Volunteer


volunteer policy

Volunteer Policy


The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library utilizes volunteers to supplement the efforts of the library staff in meeting demands for quality public service.  Volunteers aid the library in making the best use of its fiscal resources and contribute to the sound working relationships within the community.  The library and its volunteers play an integral part in fulfilling the mission, core values and community impact goals of the organization.


Sparking curiosity and connecting our community through literacy and learning.

Core Values

  • Excellence - We create experiences that anticipate our community’s diverse needs and exceed expectations.
  • Curiosity - We are hungry to learn, create and innovate.  We inspire our community to do the same.
  • Literacy - We help people make their lives better by providing the tools to successfully navigate the world.
  • Freedom - We welcome everyone in the community.  We support and defend our customers’ right to access information without judgement.
  • Teamwork - We build stronger communities through mutual trust, collaboration and shared goals. 
  • Accountability - We serve the needs of the entire community by using resources responsibly, fairly, and transparently.

Community Impact Goals

  1. Every Child will be ready for kindergarten
  2. Everyone will discover their passion for learning
  3. Everyone will continue learning new ways to live their best life
  4. Topeka and Shawnee County will be an engaged community of readers
  5. The library will be a learning organization committed to excellence in: Leadership, Planning, Customer Focus, Process Management, Partner Focus

A Volunteer is…

Anyone who, without compensation, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.  Volunteers must be at least 13 years old or accompanied by an adult while on duty. 

Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library will provide you the opportunity to give back to the community, gain experience and develop new skills, allow for you to be a role model, help build self-confidence, and allow for you to make a difference and connect to others in the community where you live!

How to Become a Volunteer

  • All volunteers are required to fill out a volunteer application and may be subject to an interview process.
  • Volunteers are selected based on their qualifications in relation to the needs of the library at any given time.
  • Applications will be kept on file for thirty days.  If you have not heard back within thirty days and wish to be considered for future positions, its necessary to fill our a new application.
  • Volunteers over the age of 18 who will be working with children or outreach services are required to pass a background check.
  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must have the application signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  • All volunteers must be accepted by the library prior to assigned tasks.


All volunteers will have an onsite supervisor.  This supervisor is responsible for day-to-day guidance of a volunteer’s work and will be available for consultation and assistance.  Volunteers should feel free to ask any questions of this person and report any concerns.  If the supervisor is not available, the volunteer may also discuss any changes, concerns or issues with the Volunteer Coordinator.  Volunteers may be required to attend training sessions/meetings.

Volunteers are expected to perform their assigned duties to the best of their abilities. All volunteers should keep their supervisor informed of their projects, time off and schedule.

Volunteers are expected to act in accordance with the library policies and provide positive customer service to all library customers.

Guidelines for Volunteers

  • Volunteers are required to follow all library policies, rules and guidelines.
  • The number of volunteers accepted is based on the amount of work and supervisory time available.
  • Volunteers are required to notify their supervisor or Volunteer Coordinator as soon as possible if they know they will be late of absent.
  • Volunteers are required to sign in/out on designated time sheet.
  • Volunteers are required to wear their name badge while volunteering at the library.
  • Volunteers are expected to present a clean and neat appearance.  Dress comfortably but appropriately for your assigned task.
  • Volunteers are required to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all information related to customers and their use of the library.
  • Volunteers should refrain from expressing any personal, social, political or religious views to customers in the course of volunteering.
  • Volunteers are required to report all injuries to their supervisor or to the Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Use of alcohol or illegal drugs in the library is prohibited, as is reporting for duty under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Volunteers may be able to complete court ordered service based on the amount of work and supervisory time available.
  • The Volunteer Coordinator or any designated employee may meet with the volunteer to +review job performance.
  • Volunteers, in their capacity as unpaid staff, are expected to meet the same standards of professionalism required by staff.  Those who fail to meet the requirements set forth in this policy or violate other library polices are subject to dismissal.
  • Volunteers are required to direct all questions or concerns raised by customers relating to the library’s collection, services, policies and procedures to a staff member.
  • All volunteer opportunities with the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library are based on mutual consent.  Both the volunteer and the library reserve the right to terminate the position at will, with or without cause, at any time.
  • Volunteers who choose to end their commitment to the Topeka and Shawnee County are encouraged to notify the Volunteer Coordinator of their decision and the effective date. 

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