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Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1
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Dr. Varaprasad - Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services Part 1

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Invited paper presented at the plenary session of the 14th CONSAL General Conference, April 21-22, 2009.

Invited paper presented at the plenary session of the 14th CONSAL General Conference, April 21-22, 2009.

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  • 1. Dr N Varaprasad and Ms Valerie Siew National Library Board Singapore 20-24 April 2009 CONSAL XIV, Ha Noi, Vietnam Leveraging on Volunteers for Sustainable Library Services All Rights Reserved, National Library Board Singapore
  • 2. Providing library services <ul><li>Library services are typically manpower intensive - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There’s a limit to what can be automated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually most non-value-adding functions are automated e.g check-out & returning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But some cannot even be automated e.g. shelving </li></ul></ul>
  • 3. The value of library services <ul><li>Value-added library services often require the human touch! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, reference services, story-telling, book selection, cataloguing, reading promotion etc </li></ul></ul>
  • 4. The dilemma of library services <ul><li>Limited manpower resources means most national & public libraries are constrained in what library services can be provided for the public. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limits to scaling up library services beyond the bare basics </li></ul></ul>
  • 5. A possible solution <ul><li>One way to overcome the shortage of human resources in the library and scale up services WITHOUT adding huge costs…. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use VOLUNTEERS to complement staff </li></ul></ul>
  • 6. What’s a volunteer? <ul><li>A volunteer…. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides work for an organisation or cause voluntarily </li></ul><ul><li>Usually does the work readily, without expecting to receive any payment for the tasks done </li></ul>
  • 7. NLB's Friends of the Library initiative - a case study
  • 8. Friends of the Library (FOL): How it got started <ul><li>Began as a means to engage seniors as part of the International Year of Elders in 2001 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2001 - First batch of volunteers: 21 seniors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanded to 200+ from 2002 to 2005 </li></ul></ul>
  • 9. Library 2010 outcome: Active Citizenry <ul><li>One of Library 2010’s outcomes was to encourage active citizenry at the public libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hence, in 2005, the FOL programme was re-structured in order to achieve the L2010 outcome </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A holistic approach was used to improve the programme </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 10. Components of NLB’s Volunteer management RECRUITMENT FLEXIBLE SELECTION OF VOLUNTEER TASKS TRAIN & DEPLOY CONTINUAL QUALITY ASSESSMENT RETENTION, REWARDS & RECOGNITION
  • 11. Recruitment of Volunteers <ul><li>Recruitment is done via </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A dedicated online 24/7 portal through the public libraries webpage ( www.pl.sg ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tie-ups with the National Volunteer Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recruitment through NVPC’s talks on volunteerism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Onsite recruitment via community fairs </li></ul></ul>
  • 12. http://vms.nlb.gov.sg
  • 13. Flexible selection of volunteer tasks <ul><li>Once registered and approved as a volunteer, the FOL can choose the kind of volunteering task he or she wants to do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers choose what they want to do from a menu listing, choice selection includes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which library to work at </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What roles they want to do </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 14. Variety & choice of what volunteering tasks are available. Every hyperlink is a volunteering opportunity
  • 15. Details for each volunteer opportunity tell people what is expected of them These are choice of roles that FOLs can pick from

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