Volunteer Policy

Halifax Public Libraries values the important contribution volunteers make to our organization. Volunteers make Halifax Public Libraries a better library not only by contributing their expertise, knowledge, and time but also by strengthening the link to the communities we serve.

Positions to be filled by volunteers will be identified by senior staff. The HRL-NSUPE collective agreement says that volunteers will not be used to replace regular staff. Volunteers, therefore, may do the same work as regular staff, but the use of volunteers must not result in the transfer, displacement or layoff of any union member, the downgrading of any member's classification, the loss of regular hours to any member of the bargaining unit or a reduction of the size of the bargaining unit.

Services may be staffed by volunteers only when such an arrangement would enhance the quality of public service and would be the most cost-effective. Any assessment of cost-effectiveness must consider that volunteer programs have a higher supervisory component and more extensive back-up provisions.

All volunteers are required to complete the Halifax Public Libraries' application form and criminal record check process, with the following three exceptions.

  1. Halifax Public Libraries' Board Members
  2. Those who do home deliveries for only their friends and relations.
  3. Unpaid guest programmers, provided they do not attend regularly and provided they are not left alone with customers.

Volunteers will be provided with similar support to regular employees. They will be given a thorough orientation, regular assessments, appropriate training and the proper tools to perform their tasks. The generous service of volunteers will be recognized in an appropriate manner at least once per year. All of this will be done according to the Libraries' Volunteer Manual.

All other terms of the volunteer arrangement are as prescribed in the volunteer manual.

At least two references must be contacted before appointing a volunteer. The Libraries' hiring manual provides a guide for interviewing and other processes around the appointment of a volunteer.