Library Volunteer Guidelines

Thanks for volunteering to provide read-aloud time and library services to the elementary students. Any questions may be directed to the Library Media Specialist or to the Library Coordinator in your building.

General Information

Volunteer Responsibilities

Volunteers must sign in upon entering the building and wear your volunteer badge. You must complete a Bridge from before working in the library.

If you sign up for a library time, we are relying on you to show up. If you cannot make Library time for any reason or if you are going to be late, please call your library partner, your class coordinator (lists will be distributed) or the library coordinator at your school. With notice, we can often find a substitute.

If you should arrive early or can stay later after your class leaves, please assist us by reshelving books, straightening the shelves, shelf reading or straightening out the room. Computer directions are located near the monitor on the circulation desk. If the system should go down, please consult the sign-out sheets located near the computer. Please care special care in fillings these sheets out as they will be our only record regarding the student and the book.


No food in the Library, including snacks for younger siblings. Water in a covered cup is allowed, but no juice boxes, please. This rule applies to all – students, volunteers and staff.


Well-behaved siblings are welcome in the library. All libraries have a small collection of toys located near the door to entertain our younger guests. However, please remember that the library is intended as enrichment time for the entire class.

Student Behavior

You should feel free to remind any and all students of appropriate library behavior, such as sitting “pretzel” style on the floor (not on chairs, unless the teacher specifically directs so), remaining quiet during reading time, handling books appropriately, etc. Bathroom trips are only allowed if it’s an emergency or medical need for the child, library time is short and we would like to have the children present for the entire time.

Library time lasts one half hour

We suggest planning to READ FIRST and allowing students to check out books only when the reading has been completed (a “new” book in the hands of an eager student can be an irresistible distraction during read-aloud time.) Returned books should be collected before read-aloud time begins. It is a good idea for one volunteer to get the books from the teacher’s class just before Library begins, and to begin to process and re-shelve books before the students come in. If this is not possible, one volunteer should be processing returned books while the other is reading.Choose your book in advance: There are read-aloud choices on or near the circulation desk in every library. Feel free to choose one of these books or one of your own choice.

Feel free to ask teachers for suggestions, in advance, to make connections to the classroom curriculum. Don’t forget about poetry and picture book biographies. We will be creating several displays during the year; you are welcome to “borrow” any of these books to read. Not all books make a good read-aloud choice, it is always best to preview your story before reading it during library time.

Upper Grades

If you are volunteering for Grades 3, 4, 5, you will likely be reading chapter books chosen in advance with consultation with the teacher. The library coordinators for these classes will let you know the choices. Read as many chapters as time allows. Older students do not need as much time to choose and checkout books as the younger students do.

Book Selection

Please feel free to consult with the classroom teacher if you have any questions regarding a child’s book selection. Students have one week to read their book, please take that into consideration with the student. They may renew it for a reasonable amount of times. The numbers below may vary by school.

  • Students in grades K – 2 may take out 1 book
  • Students in grades 3 – 5 may take out 2 books


Please remind students who have not returned their books. A note will go home to the students who have not returned their library books in a reasonable amount of time.

Class Time Library Volunteer Job Description

  • Check in books.
  • Read story to students.
  • Assist students in finding books.
  • Keep teacher apprised of any student misbehavior that shows misuse of the library property or disrespect to other students and volunteers.
  • Re-shelve returned books from cart if not involved in any of the above activities.
  • Share the duties listed above, giving all volunteers the opportunity to perform all the tasks.