Woman: Hmm .. I'm interested in doing some work for the library - are you the person to speak to?
Librarian: Yes Right, well, erm, what sort of work are you interested in?
Woman: I've just come to live here in Australia I don't want a full-time job until my children have settled down, but t really need to get out of the house a bit, and l heard you need voluntary workers for various projects...
Woman: but I don't know if I have the right skills.
Librarian: Well, we do provide training
Librarian: We always include an orientation to the library, together with emergency procedures, that's fire regulations, emergency exits, first aid. So you can cope with accidents or sudden illness, things like that which are necessary for anyone who’s working with the public. Then we give specialist training for particular projects - like using our database system.
Woman: I do have quite good computer skills, in fact.
Librarian: Umm Great!
Woman: Is there any sort of dress requirement?
Librarian: Well, all staff have to wear a name badge so they can be identified if they go outside the ’staff only' areas. But apart from that there aren't many regulations - we ask you to sign in and sign outfor insurance purposes, but that's all. How about transport do you live locally?
Woman: Not too far away I'm at Porpoise Beach. My husband needs the car during the day but it's only about twenty minutes on the bus.
Librarian: In fact, we can reimburse part of your travel expenses in that case.
Woman: Oh Would that be the same if I came by car?
Librarian: No, because parking is such a problem here. One thing we are looking for though is someone who can drive a minibus.
Woman: No problem So. do the projects involve going outside the library?
Librarian: Some, yes. But not all. We’ve just finished one which involved working with photographs taken of the area 50 or 100 years ago it basically involved what we call encapsulation ..
Woman: Putting them in some sort of covers to keep them safe?
Librarian: Exactly, it’s time-consuming work, and we were very grateful to have help with it. Then, sometime next year we're hoping to begin working on an initiative involving the sorting and labelling of objects relating to local history. We'll be needing help with the cataloguing.
Woman: I'd definitely be interested. How about at present?
Librarian: Well, we have a small team who work to support those who are unable to read.
Woman: Working with the blind.
Librarian: Yes, or other groups who have reading difficulties. We provide volunteers with equipment so that they can take books home with them and read them aloud onto CDs. We're gradually building up a collection that can be lent to those who need them
Woman: Mmm. I can see it would be useful, but I'd really like to do some sort of work where I can get the chance to meet people. How about reading stories to children?
Librarian: Mmm. That's done by our regular staff. But we do have another project - it's a very long established scheme which involves helping those who are unable to have direct access to the library.
Woman: Oh. I noticed someone with a trolley of books when i was at the hospital last week. That sort of thing?
Librarian: That would have been one of ours, yes. It’s one of our most popular services - lots of people who wouldn't dream of going to the library normally, when they're at home, borrow a book when the trolley comes round the ward.
Woman: I can imagine. Yes, I'd definitely be interested in that. Right, so how do I enroll?
Librarian: Well, we do ask all volunteers to commit themselves to a regular period each week.
Woman: I could probably do five or six hours.
Librarian: Oh ... be careful not to take on too much - but we do need someone for a couple of afternoons from 2 to 4 ... so four hours altogether.
Woman: That sounds fine.
Librarian: Right, so here's the application form . .. it asks the usual questions, name and address and telephone number. You also need to fill in details of who we should get in touch with in case of any accident or problem like that, we do need to have that filled in, and there's a space for date of birth, but that’s only if you're over 75 so. we won't worry about that.
Woman: No. Oh. it asks for qualifications do I need to provide certificates?
Librarian: They're not necessary. We'll need the names of two referees not relatives or family members, obviously. What else . . signature of parent or guardian - that won't be necessary as i assume you're over 18?
Woman: Yes. What's this? it says 'civil conviction check'
Librarian: That's a document we have to provide by law for those working on projects involving children, so we’ won’t need it in your case. But you will need to sign this separate document that’s a copy of commitment, it's basically an agreement to work according to the library guidelines. So if you'd like to fill this all in - you can do it here, or take it home, whichever you prefer.
Woman: I'll take it home if that’s OK. Right, well thank you for your time ...