[Community-service] service at libraries

Michele michmitch66 at gmail.com
Thu May 14 05:55:10 UTC 2015

Hi Ashley,


Hey, thanks for the tip about lectures on CD. That's something I'd really enjoy and didn't know existed.


I've only volunteered with a Talking Book library where everything was accessible. Still, I had to learn their computer program for looking up book information and processing requests. I also enjoyed making reading suggestions, helping patrons find books, and showing people how to use the machines. 


I'm sure you're right that you could help them with records, emailing overdue notices, and book repair. And, if they have accessible machines or programs you use, maybe you could train others how to use them. I think if you just get yourself in there doing something within your comfort zone, I'll bet you'll find plenty of other ways you can be of service once you get familiar with how they do things and where everything is.


And remember -- even if you make a mistake, it's not like they can fire you!


Good luck, and let us know how everything works out.



From: Community-service [mailto:community-service-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Darian via Community-service
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2015 10:00 PM
To: Community Service Discussion List
Cc: Darian
Subject: Re: [Community-service] service at libraries


Hi Ashley,
When I'm wanting to go about doing something like this, I Think about if I have interest in the job and then go to the place where the position is being offered and ask questions about the types of things a person tends to do once I know this, I can make a better determination as to what questions I need to ask and what alternative techniques I might need to employ.

 So, maybe you might go to the library and see what you want to do precisely entails and then go about asking the questions about particular jobs/tasks

 Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone

On May 7, 2015, at 4:30 PM, Ashley Bramlett via Community-service <community-service at nfbnet.org> wrote:

Hi all,


Well, since I use the library, I want to give back. 

Please tell me if you served the library and how you did it.


I use the access services branch which houses talking books and I use

the other public libraries. You may wonder how or why? After all its mostly  print books!


The public library has several online databases, and some are accessible. They include online magazines and encyclopedias as well as business journals in databases like Abi and general one file.

I also use the cd and dvd collection. Of course dvds have on screen menus that I have sighted help with at home to set up.

The cds have a variety of content. Commercial audio books, music, and my favorite thing, audio lectures from well known scholars and lecturers, are what is on the cds. I love the lectures so if I do not want to take a full class on a subject, but want to enhance my knowledge on say, music history, I can do that free with the lectures.




So my question.

Do you think I could help the circulation department?

I thought of helping with the english conversation groups for ESL speakers who meet weekly to practice english, but right now it seems like most jobs are for circulation support. The circulation department manages materials which patrons check out or in other words, material which circulates to the public.


The description is as follows.


May assist with any of the following, or similar tasks: processing returns, book drop and daily delivery of materials; completing customer maintenance; searching for items to be reserved for library customers; processing periodicals and newspapers. Electronically reports volunteer hours promptly and accurately.


That is the description. I know I cannot read call numbers to search for patron reserve requests. But I’m wondering if I can do something in the databases to clean up records or process records.

I do not know what customer maintenance means, so I’ll ask them.


The description is also very vague so I am unclear what exactly the duties are for processing materials. 

The duties do not list mending and cleaning books. But if that is something circulation staff and volunteers do, I can assist there. Mending simply means repairing books with glue and tape if they have minor tears.



Thanks for any ideas and encouragement!



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