Success with Library Volunteers
by Leslie E. Holt and Glen E. Holt
December 2013, 156pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-61069-048-5
$50, £39, 44€, A69
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-049-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

With today’s slashed budgets and reduced staff, all types of libraries should apply the principles and methods in this guidebook to harness the tremendous power of volunteerism.

Covering principles, practical guidelines, and best practices for establishing and operating a successful library volunteer program in any type of library, this is a must-have resource for the 21st-century librarian.

In these tough economic times, librarians must maximize the potential of their volunteer programs. This innovative guide not only provides readers with the practical information they need to recruit, manage, and retain effective volunteers, but also demonstrates how to create a dynamic volunteer program—one that offers purposeful work and emphasizes rewards rather than rules and forms. Illustrated by best practices, this book also offers practical guidelines for evaluating the success of a volunteer program—in terms of the library’s benefit, and in terms of the experience from the volunteer’s point of view.


  • Demonstrates how to succeed with volunteers by providing purposeful work, interactive supervision, and effective training, and by emphasizing fun and rewards rather than forms and rules
  • Provides practical guidelines for successfully recruiting, managing, and retaining volunteers
  • Speaks to the needs of all types of libraries affected by reduced budgets and staff cuts
Dr. Leslie E. Holt consults with libraries, schools, and child serving agencies. She worked at the St. Louis Public Library as Director of Youth Services from June of 1990 until 2004. Dr. Holt is a past president of the Association of Library Service for Children (ALSC) and has been active for many years in ALA, PLA, ALSC, and other state and regional library associations. She coauthored Libraries Unlimited's Managing Children's Services in Libraries, Fourth Edition and Public Library Service to the Poor: Doing All We Can. She received a bachelor's degree from Cornell College, a master's degree in library science from The University of Chicago, and her doctorate in curriculum and reading from Loyola University of Chicago.

Dr. Glen E. Holt consults with libraries, museums, and historical societies. He has been editor of Public Library Quarterly since 2004. He was the director of St. Louis Public Library for 17 years. Before that, Holt operated the honors program in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota and taught history and urban studies and chaired the urban studies program at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Holt led the decade-long research project that resulted in the coauthored Measuring Your Library's Value: How to Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis for Your Public Library. He is coauthor of Library Success: A Celebration of Library Innovation, Adaptation and Problem Solving and of Public Library Services to the Poor: Doing All We Can. Holt was named a winner of PLA's Charlie Robinson Award (2001) for his innovation and risk taking while SLPL's director, and he was one of only a half-dozen U.S. library professionals to be named a "senior networker" for the Bertelsmann Foundation's International Network of Public Librarians from 1998 until 2003. Holt received his bachelor's degree from Baker University and his master's degree and doctorate from The University of Chicago.


"This well-organized, clearly written, cogent work will help practitioners plan and implement volunteer services in a wide range of libraries and fills an important niche. . . . Libraries seeking to begin or strengthen volunteer services will find this book valuable."—Booklist Online, June 6, 2014

"Readers can take advantage of all or part of this book, based on individual needs and existing policies regarding volunteer practices, and can use the material to open conversations regarding future volunteer use."—Library Journal Online, May 19, 2014

"Where past volunteer library books focus on managing or training, these authors offer essential new strategies on how to have a successful program and offer additional resources. Success with Library Volunteers is a must-read for any librarian who has volunteers or is thinking about adding a volunteer program."—School Library Journal, April 1, 2014

"Any type of library will benefit from this book, as will others working with volunteers such as schools and other organizations."—ARBA, January 1, 2014
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.