The Library is always looking for reliable and enthusiastic volunteers. Opportunities range from handyman projects to database entry and various other projects.We may not have needs in all areas so please see our volunteer opportunities page for more details. All volunteers are also Friends of the Library. To learn more about the activities of this group, see the Friends page.

Linda Ballard, Assistant Director,  coordinates volunteers and welcomes your questions and comments. Contact her at 734-475-8732 ext 202 or email her.

Volunteer Opportunities

CPUS – Computer & Public User Support Volunteer

Are you good with computers? Do you enjoying helping others? If so, this could be a rewarding volunteer position for you. CPUs assist patrons during a One-on-One Computer Help sessions twice monthly, help teach technology workshops, and assist the Head of Technology and Network Administrator with various projects from time to time.  We are currently short on people with Mac computer or Android experience so those skills would be especially appreciated. For more information about this position contact Ron Andrews 475-8732 ext. 223.

Family History Index

Help develop and maintain the Family History Index, a collection of more than 60,000 obituary cards and accompanying web-based database. Tasks include data entry, creating digital images,  and assisting with genealogical research.

Youth/Teen Program Helper

Assist staff with special programs including room set up, “crowd control” and clean up. The position may also assist with craft project preparation and provide additional help to participants during the program.

Workroom Volunteer

Assist the Technical Services Coordinator with media care and repair. Assess damage to library media to help maintain collection. Work on withdrawn library materials, record-keeping and collection maintenance as needed.

Book Sale Manager

Do you love to work around books? Are you an organized person who likes people and is looking for a way to use your talents to support the library? If so, we have a great volunteer opportunity for you! We need a manager for our bi-monthly used books sales. Contact Jann Carr ( or Linda Ballard ( 475-8732 ext 202 if interested.

This individual is a member of the Used Book Sale Task Force and is responsible for scheduling and running the sale. Approximately 16-20 hours between each bi-monthly sale is required to satisfactorily fill this position. Tasks include:

  1. Maintain all sale processes and procedures.
  2. Assure sales floor is set up correctly.
  3. Train/coordinate staff and make ad hoc decisions regarding pricing, logistics, etc. during sale or delegate responsibility.
  4. Recruit and schedule all required volunteers for the sale.
  5. Assure sales floor is cleaned up/reset after sale.
  6. Communicate PR/sale information to Communication Chair on Friends’ Board.
  7. Attend Used Book Sale Task Force meetings, approx. six times per year.

Book Bin Emptiers

We need three or four volunteers to empty the book donation bins on Tuesdays anytime, on Saturday OR Sunday, or to help another volunteer with this task on Thursdays. Work involves moving filled bins to the basement, removing donations and stacking them on tables to be sorted for processing. You may also request to be trained to scan the donations for value by our online vendor.  Contact Jan Carr (  or Linda Ballard ( 475-8732 xt. 202 if interested.

Used Book Sales – General

The Friends of Chelsea District Library hold monthly used book sales in the library basement. Assistance is needed for weekly sorting/cleaning sessions as well as day of sale set up, sales help and tear down. If you are interested in helping with the book sale, your name and information will be given to the Friends’ book sale manager for scheduling and more information.

Youth Service Group

Geared to students from 7th grade up, the Youth Service is a year-round community service opportunity. Participants assist the Youth and Teen Services librarian with program creation and implementation, Summer Reading Program registration and various other tasks throughout the year. Please call Keegan or Edith @ 475-8732 with any questions.

Senior Outreach/Programs

Assist the Adult Services Department with programs held at area senior living facilities or at the library. Volunteers should be comfortable reading/performing for special senior populations, such as those in assisted-living facilities, and available to travel to and from the program site on their own during the work day. This may include set-up and clean-up after programs.

Local History Materials

Help organize and improve the library’s collection of materials about the Chelsea area. Tasks include creating inventories, assisting with special research projects, and digitizing and preserving delicate material.

Volunteer of the Year

Volunteers of the Year 2016


(L) Barb Marshall & Bella, (R) Michelle McCarthy & Enzo

The R.E.A.D. to the Library Dog program, consisting of a child reading aloud to a dog trained to “listen,” was introduced to the Chelsea District Library in the fall of 2004. Michele McCarthy worked with Karen Persello, Head of Youth and Teen Services, to start the program here at the library, along with her black Lab, Leo. Michelle began working with Therapy Dogs in 2002 and has worked as a Certified Dog Behaviorist and Certified Therapy Animal Consultant since 1999.  It has been very rewarding for Michelle to see the R.E.A.D. Program grow over the years. Imagine this: Leo’s first ‘Readers’ are now college sophomores! Michelle has helped many teams prepare and train for Therapy Dog work and the R.E.A.D. Program.  Many wonderful dogs have carried on Leo’s mission here at the library: Cassie, Boomer, Leyland, Stevie, and Sable, to name a few. Our current dogs are Simon, Rosie, and Bella. Bella is owned and trained by our other Volunteer of the Year, Barb Marshall.

Barb Marshall lives in Chelsea with her two dogs, Bella, 3 ½, and Nugget, a 6 month old yellow Lab. Barb taught high school math for 38 years before retiring and had always wanted to work with a therapy dog. In June of 2011, after taking classes with Michelle, she and her dog Sable became a registered therapy dog team. Sable became the official reading dog at North Creek Elementary School in 2012 and then joined the R.E.A.D. program here at the library. In 2015, Bella joined her big sister as Barb’s second therapy dog and immediately became part of the R.E.A.D. program, too. Barb and Bella love being part of the R.E.A.D. program and enjoy meeting and helping our young readers improve their reading skills. Barb feels that the R.E.A.D. program is a valuable part of helping our young students succeed and become better readers, and is truly honored to be part of it.

Age Has Its Benefits!

Are you a volunteer who is 55 years old or older? If so, we have a partnership with the Corporation for National & Community Service (funded by Americorp) that offers supplemental medical insurance that covers you as you travel to and from the library, and while you are here volunteering! To find out more and get signed up for this perk, contact Linda Ballard at 734-475-8732 ext 202 or email her.