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Giving the gift of time

How to Volunteer

To volunteer at DCLS  (14 years of age or older) submit an Application for Volunteer Service. We welcome independent individual commitments which we screen through personal references and background checks.  Volunteers pay for background check fees; and reimbursement is offered after twenty hours of volunteer service

We accept Community Service requests to meet school, church or civic organization requirements; submit proof of requirement with Application.   We also accept Court Ordered (ARD- Accelerated Rehabilitative Dispositions) Community Service requests which require a court document stating the offense to accompany the Application for processing.  Do not submit ARD or Community Service forms.

Download and print the two-page Application for Volunteer Service or obtain a preprinted copy from your local library. Send completed, signed, and dated applications, along with support documents, to the DCLS Volunteer Program Coordinator, at 101 Walnut Street Harrisburg PA 17101 or ask for interlibrary delivery to the FFHR Department from any DCLS Circulation Desk Library staff person.
Questions about the Application may be directed to the Volunteer Program Coordinator at 717-234-4961 ext 119 or

Finding Your Fit

At the Library, long and short term assignments, flexible scheduling and training can be designed for individual volunteer work.  Every effort will be made to match your individual interest to a DCLS need.

Placements are offered based on your availability and the Library need.  Normally volunteers serve two hours each week on a specified day.  Groups may serve on special projects for different lengths of time.

As a prospective volunteer, you will be asked to attend an Orientation session at which time the background history forms will be completed, fees collected, and all questions answered.  Orientation will be offered on the day and time of your first volunteer service, at the Library you will serve.

Benefits of service include annual selection of the DCLS Volunteer of the Year who is recognized at the annual Light the Way to Learning Banquet; a reception and a book added to the collection in honor of volunteers serving over fifteen hours during the preceeding year; and holiday greetings with a free DVD rental for those serving over 20 hours each year.  Service of over 100 hours a year makes you a member of the Centennial Club.  

Volunteer recognition occurs in many forms at DCLS, since people volunteer for so many reasons.  Many volunteer simply because volunteering makes us feel good.  Others do it to add experiences to their resume or learn new skills.  Others simply feel the need to give back to their community.  Seventy-three volunteers who served over fifteen hours between January and December 2011 have been invited to a formal reception to be held later this Spring.  On display will be additions made to the DCLS Collection with a commemorative bookplate honoring each volunteer.  DCLS values volunteers who help us meet our mission to strengthen the community by promoting literacy and providing resources and services for  information, education, and recreation. 

Complete information concerning volunteer selection, orientation, training, supervision evaluation and recognition can be found in the DCLS Volunteer Program Policy.

Volunteer Opportunities

Process Book Donations

Groups or individual volunteers to sort, pack, label, stack, and distribute gently used books.  Ability to lift up to 40 lbs.  Opportunity is available Tuesday thru Saturday during regular Library hours; extremely flexible scheduling and free parking.

Assist with Youth Service Programs

Volunteers support staff at Youth Programs - Help set up room or displays, distribute materials, meet and greet participants, take part in activities, always working under direction of Library staff. Requires a weekly two hour commitment to serve. 

Delivery assistance

Volunteers assist drivers making multiple stops at Libraries.  Duties include handling and sorting materials while driver makes deliveries.  Volunteers must be physically fit, able to lift 25 pounds and climb in and out of the vehicle.  Full day schedule on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; variety of routes throughout Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry Counties

eReader  patron support

Volunteer Opportunity - Volunteers (14 and older) are needed to help Library patrons with downloading and accessing electronic library materials.  Position requires basic understanding of eReaders and eAudio players, and a commitment to serve one or two (1-2) hours each week.  Ability to troubleshoot digital device compatibility is extremely helpful.  Support and training on Overdrive (software) provided as needed.  These positions require patience working with all types of people with all levels of computer experience. 

Computer basics and Job seeking patron support

Volunteers assist patrons with basic computer tasks, on-line job searches, resume writing and preparation of on-line job applications.  From use of the mouse, keyboard, printing and personal storage devices to signing up for email accounts, volunteers help locate and access online resources.  Requires weekly two hour commitment, during Library hours.  These positions require patience working with all types of people with all levels of computer experience.

General Library Work

Volunteers work on tasks related to the Collection – shelving, shelf-reading, weeding, pull lists, cleaning media and book covers, and auditing CD/DVD discs and cases.  Volunteers help keep items in good condition and ready for the next patron to borrow.  (over 1.253 Million items were circulated at DCLS in 2011)

For a full listing of volunteer opportunities, task descriptions, and special requirements contact the DCLS Volunteer Program Coordinator, 717.234.4961 ext.119 or email

Volunteer Impact

Six thousand- eight-hundred and forty (6,840) hours were contributed by 229 volunteers during 2011.   Over half of those hours were dedicated to re-shelving the 1.253 million items circulated in 2011. Other valuable services included assisting patrons with career, job search, and computer use, supporting staff at youth programs, and completing tasks such as pull lists, weeding, shelf reading and cleaning book covers.  Each task completed by a volunteer not only frees up a staff person for better customer service, but also creates a better patron experience.  DCLS sets high performance standards to which our volunteers are measured.    

DCLS recognizes Volunteer of the Year

At the end of January, the Personnel Committee selected Jack Snodgrass  of the Kline Library to receive the Dottie and Henry Swartz Volunteer Excellence Award for his efforts in 2011.  Jack will be recognized at the Light the Way to Learning banquet on Saturday, April 21, 2012, and he will be nominated for other volunteer recognition opportunities in the region.

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