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California State Library and VolunteerMatch Team Up to Boost Civic Engagement in Public Libraries

Submitted by: VolunteerMatch

Categories: Volunteerism, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: May 07, 2009 – 09:00 AM EST


Seeking to become a hub for civic engagement, California’s public libraries partner with the Web’s largest volunteer network to help people of all ages make a difference

May 07 /CSRwire/ - SAN FRANCISCO, CA. - May 7, 2009 - VolunteerMatch and the California State Library today announced a partnership to strengthen civic engagement at public libraries throughout California, and the launch of a new online resource,, that makes it easier for Californians to volunteer at local libraries and at nonprofits within the greater community.

The announcement and details about the new Web site were delivered by Greg Baldwin, president of VolunteerMatch, at the Get Involved: Powered by Your Library Institute, a two-day training seminar on volunteer engagement for California library administrators.

In his remarks, Baldwin tied the new initiative to ongoing changes in how Americans volunteer.

"Americans of all ages are more interested than ever in giving back, so the challenge is for institutions to create engaging and interesting ways to get involved," said Baldwin. "We're delighted that California's libraries share our commitment to unlocking the potential of new generations of citizens to serve their communities."

The Web site is the cornerstone of the broader California State Library initiative, Get Involved: Powered by Your Library, to encourage and tap into the skills and experiences of California volunteers. By positioning libraries as hubs for civic engagement, the program seeks to raise awareness about skilled volunteering in public libraries and strengthen the capacity of libraries to utilize skilled volunteers.

Through the partnership, the state's public library outlets can now advertise their volunteer openings to more than 10 million visitors in the VolunteerMatch network. Libraries can also now promote to library patrons as a resource for finding volunteer opportunities with 65,000 participating organizations.

The program also includes training to help libraries create diverse and meaningful volunteer positions to attract new audiences, especially the growing number of retiring Baby Boomers.

Key elements of the new program include:

  • The launch of as a hub for community involvement with a special focus on library volunteering, literacy projects and community volunteer activities.
  • An online toolset for libraries to post volunteer opportunities, screen prospects, coordinate group activities, and track volunteer hours.
  • A series of trainings including the Get Involved: Powered by Your Library Institute to help libraries create diverse and meaningful volunteer positions that will attract a broad range of community volunteers.
"Volunteer engagement benefits both the library and the community. In their role as information center and community living room, libraries are well positioned to serve as hubs for civic engagement," said Laura Parker, public information officer for the State Library. "We believe this is a program that other states will want to learn from and implement."

To visit Get Involved: Powered by Your Library:
To learn more about California State Library:
To learn more about VolunteerMatch:
"Library plugs into volunteer power," St. Helena Star:

About California State Library

The California State Library, founded in 1850, is the central reference and research library for the Governor's office, state legislature, statewide elected and appointed officials, state employees, and the general public. It also advises, consults with, and provides technical assistance to California's public libraries. The State Library administers federal and state grants that support projects and services including civil liberties education, historical preservation, library construction, literacy and volunteer programs.

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch is the Web's largest and most popular volunteer network, and is committed to strengthening communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. Its award-winning online service,, helps visitors find local volunteer opportunities by location, interest area, and/or keyword. The VolunteerMatch network welcomed more than 10 million visitors in 2008, including millions of participants in employee volunteer programs, and has become the preferred volunteer recruiting service for more than 65,000 nonprofits

For more information, please contact:

Robert Rosenthal VolunteerMatch
Phone: 415.241.6865
Carla Lehn California State Library
Phone: 916.653.7743

For more from this organization:



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