Volunteers can fill many roles, including providing tours, answering research requests, indexing and transcribing records, or processing collections. Most institutions would struggle to function without volunteers, and many small institutions could not function at all. The overall detail of the volunteer information will depend on the nature of your institution.
- Volunteer Information
Repositories should collect contact and background information as they would for any employee. Contact information can be used to communicate upcoming events and office closings, and emergency contact information is essential in case of an accident, illness, or other unfortunate event.
- Volunteers should be asked to sign a liability disclaimer form. This is for the protection of the repository in the event of an accident.
- Recognizing Volunteers
Volunteers are donating their valuable time and knowledge to the cultural heritage institution. The amount of time donated should be acknowledged in some way such as an annual appreciation banquet or special certificate. Accurate tracking of volunteer hours can be accomplished by maintaining a volunteer timesheet. Accurate tracking of volunteer hours is important in applying for grants. They also are valuable as an example of community involvement and interest in the institution.