University of Oregon


Volunteer Job Openings:

  • Special Collections and University Archives is currently interviewing for up to five volunteers to help with patron registration.  This entails greeting individual researchers upon their arrival, reviewing or introducing individuals to our policies and guidelines on the use of our materials, entering an individual's information into a registration database, and answering the telephone and directing callers to our web site.  Volunteers will also work on special projects when the Paulson Reading Room is not busy, such as transcribing diaries, reearching gift books, identifying materials, etc.

Volunteers - General Information:

Volunteers are an important component of the University of Oregon Libraries; they enable us to make our valuable collections available to the public and help us engage our internal and external readers in many enriching programs and services.

The University of Oregon Libraries Volunteer Program is typically associated with our  Department of Special Collections and University Archives ( Occasionally, other departments may be willing to work with volunteers. By joining our team, you become part of a unique group of dedicated individuals who can be found in many areas of Special Collections and University Archives, from orienting researchers, to organizing historic manuscript and photography collections. There are many important ways in which volunteers contribute, making them one of the library's richest resources.

Special Collections and University Archives Volunteer Policies and Description:

Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) houses rare, unique, and valuable materials. At any given time they have a variety of collections and projects to complete. Staff members strive to find projects for volunteers that will be a good learning experience and also meet the needs of the department. Many times, this may include working on a variety of different projects. Volunteers without previous archival experience tend to start with small projects, more clerical duties, or assisting other experienced staff, students, or volunteers on projects.

Volunteers must complete the Volunteer Application Form (see instructions, below). After the form is completed and reviewed, SCUA staff may schedule a meeting/interview with the volunteer to determine fit as well as describe the specific, current projects available at the time (projects in all areas are not always available). SCUA staff may elect not to take on a volunteer after this initial meeting.

At times, SCUA may not be able to take on new volunteers due to staff commitments and timing. They ask that volunteers make a commitment of at least 5 hours/week for an agreed upon length of time with the volunteer supervisor. Hours must be worked during SCUA staff hours, which are generally Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Staff supervisors may, at any time, determine that a volunteer position can no longer be supported due to staff or volunteer commitment or volunteer work performance. Every effort will be made to assist volunteers in improving skills before a volunteer position is terminated.

Note: Due to the nature of library materials that may be considered rare and/or of special local unique value, volunteers may be required to successfully complete a criminal background check. More information may be found at:


SCUA has the following types of volunteer positions:

  • Registering patrons
  • Special Projects

The descriptions are generalized for each area. Volunteer assignments may include all duties in a given area or a narrower scope, depending on the department's needs and staffing.

Gift Books:

  • Search the UO library catalog to determine holdings.

Special Projects:

  • Could include a variety of projects, depending on the needs of the department.
  • Transcribing diaries

Position Requirements:

While it is not expected that volunteers will have had direct archival or library experience, SCUA staff members are looking for individuals who can meet the following requirements:

  • Familiarity with primary sources and/or experience working/researching with archival collections.
  • Ability to follow detailed policies and procedures.
  • Ability to work independently and with a team.
  • Ability to solve complex problems.
  • Good organizational skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to write clear text.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to lift and move up to 40-pound boxes.
  • Ability to work independently after initial training.
  • Ability to observe confidentiality restrictions and maintain security of materials.
  • Responsible for maintaining communication with supervisor.

Steps to Becoming a Volunteer:

  1. Complete the Volunteer Application Form and send to Patrick Moore,
  2. Your application will be reviewed for specific skills and academic background and you will be contacted within two weeks to schedule an informational interview to discuss areas of interest, special skills or knowledge you may bring to the workplace, possible work schedules, and/or to arrange for any appropriate training.
  3. Once your application is approved, Library Human Resources will send you a Letter of Agreement to sign that outlines conditions and expectations of your appointment.
  4. You will also be asked to sign a UO Liability Form.

Other Library Department Heads may also propose specific types of experiences in other departments or units. Contact Patrick Moore with your ideas!



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