Volunteer Program policy

Download the Volunteer Program policy (PDF 440.1 KB)

Policy Statement

The State Library is committed to the involvement of volunteers to enhance, promote and complement the services we provide. We will work with volunteers in ways that enhance their experiences and comply with legislation and duty of care.

Purpose

The purpose of the Volunteer Program Policy is to articulate the policy, principles and framework of the State Library Volunteer Program.

Scope

This policy applies to:

  • All State Library staff supervising and / or working with volunteers on our projects and activities
  • All volunteers taking part in State Library projects and activities.

Definitions

WordDefinition
Volunteer Onsite - An inducted volunteer assigned to a project and undertaking work at State Library premises. This may include work on digital projects.
Offsite - An inducted volunteer assigned to a project and undertaking work offsite. Note induction may take place at State Library or online depending on the volunteer’s location and ability to visit State Library premises.
Online contributors Online contributors participate in online tasks or activities and work from a location other than State Library premises. No induction required.
ALIA Australian Library and Information Association

Recruitment and Selection

The State Library recognises Standard 4 from The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement 2015.

Recruitment of volunteers may be through advertising, publicity, associated organisations or through general enquiries. Volunteers are selected based on interest, knowledge and skills or attributes relevant to the role, and consistent with anti-discrimination legislation.

The pre-requisites to volunteering at State Library are:

  • The individual’s ability to perform an identified role.
  • Being over the age of fourteen years.
  • The completion of an Employment Screening Consent Form. (18+ years of age)

Details of the volunteer recruitment and selection process are documented in the Volunteer Program Procedures.

The State Library has the right to offer or withhold an offer of a volunteer placement to any applicant based upon the availability of a suitable volunteer role for that applicant at that time. A register is kept with potential volunteer details (if approved by the potential volunteer) and contact will be made if a suitable project becomes available.

Volunteers offer their services, skills and experience of their own free will, with no coercion and for no financial payment. The offer of a volunteer role is in no way a commitment to an offer of a future paid role within State Library.

Management and Operations

Commitment to Volunteer Involvement

The State Library Volunteer Program is endorsed and supported by the Executive Management Team and designed to contribute directly to the State Library’s vision.

The Volunteer Program is managed through the Visitor & Information Services team.

Day to day responsibility for the administration of the Volunteer Program is managed through the Volunteer Program Officer and the Coordinator Visitor Services.

Day to day responsibility for the supervision and support of individual volunteers is managed through supervising staff members on any project or activity to which a volunteer is allocated. The State Library is committed to providing suitable resources to support and maintain the Volunteer Program. This includes the provision of support and supervision, workspace and equipment necessary to satisfactorily undertake volunteer roles.

Reporting on volunteer services

The number of volunteer hours of contribution (including online contributors) will be recorded and reported to the Library Board of Queensland and volunteer supervisors will be required to assist with capturing data. Note volunteer hours of online contributors are not monitored; estimates of hours will be used where available.

State Library reports financially as per Queensland Treasury’s Financial Reporting Requirements for Queensland Government Agencies. In order to recognise volunteer services within our financial statements, the following criteria must be met;

1. Services would have been purchased if not provided voluntarily; and
2. The fair value of those services can be measured reliably.

In order to evaluate, volunteer activities will be defined as either;

  • Activities performed that would not otherwise be purchased - the services performed would not have been purchased if not provided voluntarily, this would not be recognised in State Library’s financial statements
  • Activities performed that would otherwise be purchased - the services performed would have been purchased if not provided voluntarily, this would be recognised in State Library’s financial statements; AND
  • Activities performed can be reliably measured - if we cannot reliably measure the fair value of the services provided, this would not be recognised in State Library’s financial statements

In addition

  • Activities that lead to the generation of an asset - If the activity performed by a volunteer leads to the generation of or increase in value of an asset, this should be recognised in State Library’s financial statements e.g. in the creation of a digital asset.

Records Management

Confidential personnel information is maintained for each volunteer assisting at State Library. Information maintained includes up to date personal and contact information and a history of the volunteer’s involvement with the library. This may include commencement date, roles undertaken, attendance records, recognition received and copies of any correspondence written on behalf of the volunteer. Information is not maintained for online contributors.

The Volunteer Program Officer is responsible for the maintenance of volunteer records based on information received from the volunteers and supervising staff.

The State Library is subject to privacy legislation which applies to the Queensland public sector — the Information Privacy Act 2009 (the Information Privacy Act). The Information Privacy Act contains a number of privacy principles that set out how agencies must handle personal information.

Volunteer Roles

Onsite Volunteers

Volunteers and State Library staff jointly assist in implementing the vision, mission, programs and services of the State Library, with each having a complimentary role to play. It is essential that volunteers and paid staff understand and respect the needs and responsibilities of one another.

Volunteer roles are defined, documented and communicated to volunteers. The State Library is committed to placing volunteers into roles that provide meaningful work and that match the volunteer’s interests and abilities.

Volunteer roles are reviewed annually with input from volunteers and employees.

Prior to the commencement of a volunteer, a Project Description will be developed for the role or activity with a State Library staff member designated as project supervisor. The project description must be signed and approved by the Project Supervisor, Manager/Director responsible for the project and the relevant Executive Director

All volunteer projects will be reviewed each financial year. Where a project or activity is ongoing rather than for a set duration, the Volunteer Project Description review will take place at the changeover of each financial year.

Volunteers will undertake a formal induction process and be provided with a security access card if required with access determined in line with their duties. Volunteers will be asked to return their access card at the end of their project. Volunteers undertaking a back of house project are not permitted to be onsite on weekends or public holidays due to limited staff supervision.

Some volunteer roles do not require the provision of security access cards or formal induction where the role is short-term, infrequent and does not require building access. I.e. volunteer musicians and those attending trial shifts or single-day events. Visitor passes may be issued in these circumstances where applicable.

Volunteers will be issued a network account and ICTS orientation session if applicable.

Offsite Volunteers

Offsite Volunteers are not based at State Library premises. Offsite Volunteers will undertake either a formal onsite or online induction process. Volunteers correspond via the project supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring appropriate welcome and induction to the project is undertaken.

Online contributors

Online contributors do not undertake induction, are not assigned specific project work but
contribute to identified tasks for the State Library for example: tagging of collections.

Volunteer Responsibilities and Conduct

The Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service provides a framework of positive expectations within which everyday work is conducted. The Code of Conduct applies to all volunteers engaged by the State Library as well as to all permanent, temporary and casual staff.

Representation of the State Library

Volunteers are not permitted, without approval, to make public statements to the media, engage in partnerships or lobbying with other organisations, or enter into any agreement involving contractual or other financial obligations on behalf of the State Library. Volunteers are authorised to act as representatives of the State Library only as specifically indicated within their project descriptions and only to the extent of such written specifications.

Confidentiality

State Library volunteers have the right to access information relevant and necessary for the satisfactory performance of any role undertaken. Volunteers are responsible for ensuring that the confidentiality of any information to which they have access whilst working as a volunteer, whether this information involves staff members, volunteers, clients or other persons involved with the State Library is maintained.

Intellectual Property and Copyright

All intellectual property, including copyright, created by volunteers as a result of work performed as part of their volunteer duties is owned by State Library.

Conflict of Interest

Any possible conflict of interest by a volunteer is to be openly declared and satisfactorily resolved as soon as possible between the volunteer and the State Library.

Workplace Safety and Wellbeing

The health, safety and wellbeing of volunteers is protected in the workplace.

The State Library has a developed workplace health and safety program with strategies for the prevention of accidents and incidents and the elimination of potential hazards. Volunteers will be provided with relevant information and guidelines to ensure the maintenance of safe and healthy workplace along with training and information regarding emergency procedures.

Volunteers are covered under State Library’s Public Liability Insurance and required to report any injury to their staff supervisor and / or the Volunteer Program Officer as soon as possible.

Volunteers working at an event offsite are covered while they are undertaking volunteer duties.

Volunteers have access to the same post-incident debriefing and support provided to State Library employees. Offsite Volunteers and Online Contributors are not covered under State Library’s Public Liability Insurance.

Complaints and Grievances

Volunteer complaints or grievances will be managed consistently, transparently and equitably as detailed in State Library’s Volunteer Program Procedures.

Volunteer Recognition

The State Library ensures that volunteer contribution, value and impact is understood, appreciated and acknowledged and that volunteers are informed about how their contributions benefit the organisation, service users and the community.

The State Library maintains Volunteer Service Awards for length of service to the library and Special Achievement Awards for examples of outstanding contribution to the library through volunteer service. State Library acknowledges contributions made by volunteers and a recognition function for volunteers will be held at least annually.

Environment

The environment for the storage, display, and usage of collection materials are informed by and adopt best practice international and national standards which directly relate to application of controls and specifications for preservation storage of library materials.

The environmental controls are commensurate with the significance of the collection, the media type, and specific requirements for their long term preservation. Ongoing research will be carried out to continue to evaluate environmental control and its sustainability by tailoring identified needs of collection types in conjunction with ambient conditions of sub-tropical Queensland.

Comprehensive monitoring of the delivery of specified environmental controls will be provided by Building Management Systems, portable data-logging (digital) and thermo-hygrograph (analogue) devices. Alarm response will be carried out by Facility Management Contractors.

References

The Policy is supported by:

  • The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement 2015
  • ALIA Statement on Voluntary Work in library and information services (2017)
  • Volunteer Program Procedures
  • State Library Volunteer handbook
  • Code of Conduct for the Queensland public service
  • Responsible Conduct Policy
  • Information Privacy Act 2009
  • Queensland Government - Child Employment Act 2006 and Child Employment Regulation 2016
  • Accounting Standard AASB 1058 - Income of Not-for-Profit Entities

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