Secondary School Students Volunteer Commitment Guidelines

The Ontario Ministry of Education recently incorporated 40 hours of mandatory community service into the secondary school curriculum. The Hamilton Public Library is pleased to assist students in fulfilling their voluntary requirement in the Library.

The following guidelines apply:

  • Interested students may submit a written resume to a branch library, or the Central Library Children's Department.
  • Prospective volunteer students will be screened or interviewed by staff.
  • The Library reserves the right to limit the number of student volunteers, in order to provide proper instruction and supervision.
  • The Library will provide suitable instruction in Health and Safety, and Workplace Hazardous Materials (WHMIS).
  • Recommended activities for Secondary School volunteers:
  • Reading Buddies Program. The student assists a younger child with reading practice during the summer.
  • Publicity Walks. The student assists a staff member or summer worker delivering library publicity in neighbourhoods surrounding a branch library.
  • Library moves or reorganization. The student assists staff who are moving or shifting library material. Cleaning shelves and re-shelving books may be required.
  • Branch Book Sales. The student assists staff with setting up prior to a sale, moving and unpacking boxes of books, keeping tables filled, stacking empty boxes for recycling, re-packing remainders, cleaning up, and taking down tables.

These recommended activities can be undertaken with a minimum of orientation and instruction. Most can be completed in a concentrated block of time, allowing the student amass 5 - 20 hours over a short period of time. The student will, at all times, be working with library staff. No student volunteer will replace a paid staff member.

Students wishing to volunteer for the Reading Buddies program should be proficient in English, and may wish to provide a recommendation from an English teacher. Students whose first language is not English are welcome to volunteer.

Jobs to be excluded:

  • Regular library page duties such as shelving and shelf reading.
  • Crowd control at library programs.
  • Assistance at local festivals and outreach events such as Festival of Friends.
  • Activities/projects involving access to the library automated system or patron records.

The library will provide an acknowledgement of volunteer hours worked by a student, but cannot provide letters of reference.

If a student is unable or unwilling to fulfil an agreed upon volunteer commitment, or is deemed unsuitable for the placement, library staff will contact the student's school.

Interested students may contact the Human Resources Department of the Hamilton Public Library at 546-3216, for further information