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 below 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 x202 or email her.

 Please click here for our adult online volunteer application or here to print a paper copy.
Teen volunteers, please see the application below.

Volunteer Opportunities

CPUS – Computer & Public User Support Volunteer

<This position is not currently available>

Are you good with computers? Do you enjoying helping others? If so, this could be a rewarding volunteer position for you. CPUs assist patron during Tech-By-Request session. 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.

Local & Family History Index

Our local history volunteers 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. Family history volunteers 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.

Workroom Volunteer

<<This position is currently unavailable>>

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 Work on withdrawn library materials, record-keeping and collection maintenance as needed.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 — **OPEN POSITION**

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 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 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.

Post-Sale Manager — **OPEN POSITION**

If you love the library and helping other non-profit organizations as well, then this volunteer position may be the perfect fit for you! Contact Jan Carr, CDL Friends Used Book Sale Manager at if interested.

This individual works with the Inventory/Space Manager and is responsible for seeing that all unsold items are removed (culled) from the general used book sale inventory to help reduce inventory overload. It is usually done during the week after the sales in January, March, May, July, September, and November. These culled books are then made available to non-profit organizations every other month. Responsibilities include:

  1. Organizing culled material (Hardcover & Paperback) for final shopping sale.
  2. Scheduling and hosting appointments with non-profits to choose material from culled inventory (every other month).*
  3. Boxing culled inventory for donation to goodwill (10 boxes max at one time.)
  4. Boxing culled inventory, hardcover and paperback, for Better World Books (40 boxes min), arranging for pick up, and staging boxes for pickup.
  5. Boxing all discarded “Trash” hard cover books (70 boxes min) in Baker & Taylor boxes for pick up by Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority (WWRA), scheduling pick up, and staging boxes for pickup.

*Non-profit organizations coming to select culled books should be encouraged to review all culled books. They may use any of the miscellaneous boxes to pack their selections.

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 — **OPEN POSITIONS**

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, Reading Program registration, and various other tasks throughout the year. Please call Stacey at 734-475-8732 ext. 212 with any questions.

Senior Outreach/Programs & CDL Delivers

Senior outreach volunteers 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. CDL Delivers volunteers bring books to residents who are homebound due to illness or disability.

Volunteer of the Year

Volunteer of the Year 2021

Dr. Richard Burney Volunteer of the Year 2021

This year’s Volunteer of the Year recipient is not your traditional library volunteer. His work for the library occurred entirely outside off the library grounds, and only occasionally does he directly interact with library materials. After a 50-year career as a General Surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan, Dr. Richard Burney retired on October 31, 2019. One of his goals for retirement was to make use of his Martin D48 guitar a little more often. His daughter Edith Donnell, a Youth & Teen Librarian at the Chelsea District Library, had been joking with him about how they should start singing together again like when she was a child. During the early, confusing weeks of library closure in the pandemic, Edith began working out of her parent’s house. Eager to connect with the library’s young patrons, Edith started trying to recreate Storytime on Facebook Live, using her father’s office space. Dr. Burney showed an interest in helping, and Edith, sensing an opportunity to make Storytimes special (and enjoy some special time with her dad), invited him to join her and provide musical accompaniment. The first Storytime Live was streamed live on March 25, 2020. Nearly every week for the next 17 months, Dr. Burney and Miss Edith have delighted their young audience online with stories and songs.