What is a BA Volunteer?

A Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) volunteer is an individual who loves the community, is curious about libraries and gives contribute his best to make it better, and desires a new and rewarding experience. Volunteering in a library is an excellent opportunity for individuals to experience library culture and to serve their community. Volunteers are unpaid and give of their time and talents to support the library and its services. The volunteer program at the BA creates opportunities for individuals to feel personal satisfaction while performing a valuable service for the society, serves as a method for area residents to become familiar with the library and supplements the efforts of paid library staff.

How do I become a BA Volunteer?

All prospective BA Volunteers will be asked to complete an application for volunteer work and a supplementary interview with the volunteer coordinator. Volunteers are selected based upon their qualifications and the needs of the library at any given time. While we appreciate every person who wishes to volunteer at the library, opportunities for volunteer work are limited.

The library accepts as volunteers:

  • Students participating in service activities as an educational requirement
  • Students requiring internships or cooperative placements
  • Individuals referred by other volunteer programs
  • Individuals who would like to increase their skills in one or more aspects of librarianship

Since each BA volunteer will serve as a complement to the paid library staff, each volunteer must exhibit the following qualities:

  • Ability to interact with patrons, library staff and other volunteers in a constructive and pleasant manner
  • Ability to be creative and assist people
  • Ability to communicate effectively in Arabic, both in written and verbal formats
  • Willingness to work within the library environment
  • Capability to follow supervisory direction
  • Eagerness to learn and to do the assigned work effectively
  • Willingness to be supportive of the library and its policies
  • Knowledge of alphabetical order and decimals in both Arabic and English
How do BA Volunteers help?

All BA volunteers will be asked to assist in the normal daily duties of the BA Library Sector staff. These duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Shelf reading and shelving of all library materials in proper Dewey Decimal order
  • Enhancing reference services by assisting users with simple requests
  • Performing daily floor assessments, insuring that all library materials are in order, shelves are aligned, floors are free from clutter, and reading areas are prepared for efficient usage
  • Assisting in administrative functions including mailings, filing, data entry, labeling, etc
  • Providing support for events, programs, special projects, etc. held at the BA
  • Perform other assigned tasks as needed
What are the BA Volunteer Rules & Regulations?
  • Volunteers are recognized as contributors to meeting the BA's overall mission.
  • The library does not compensate volunteers for time spent working at the library.
  • The minimum age requirement for volunteers is 18. Otherwise, volunteers are recruited based on their suitability to perform a task on behalf of the library.
  • The screening process at the BA follows the steps specified by the library sector guidelines. These steps include risk management, clear job descriptions, application, formal interviews, orientation and training, and supervision and follow-up.
  • Volunteers will receive training in their assigned duties in order to perform efficiently. Volunteers are expected to complete the training program for the particular function and to take directions from the supervisor who is responsible for their work.
  • As representatives of the library, volunteers are responsible for presenting a good image to the community. Volunteers shall dress appropriately for the conditions and performance of their duties. Wherever possible, volunteers will wear their volunteer identification while engaged in library business.
  • A volunteer who has been selected for work on a special project will discontinue service when that project is completed, unless other arrangements have been made.
  • Volunteers are expected to refer all patrons requests for information to the library staff, other than directional questions (e.g. where is the bathroom; where is the copy center, where are the 800s, etc.).
  • Volunteers should sign in and out to keep an accurate record of the hours they work each week.
  • Volunteers are bound by BA library policies. Volunteers who do not adhere to the policies and procedures of the library or who fail to satisfactorily meet the expectations of their volunteer assignment are subject to dismissal.
  • Volunteers should notify the supervisor in advance if they are unable to work their regularly schedule time. On the other hand, volunteers will be notified immediately on any given day when there is any change in the library opening and closing time for any reason.
  • Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information which they may be exposed to while serving as a volunteer, whether this information involves members of staff, other volunteers, library patrons, or other persons, or involves the overall business of the library. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in immediate termination of the volunteer and/or other corrective action.
  • Volunteers do not replace paid staff. Volunteers shall not be considered as employees of the library. Volunteers shall not perform any task or duty for which a license or certification is required if the volunteer does not possess such license or certification.
  • Volunteer participation is a valued component of the operation of the BA. Every effort will be made to match volunteer ability to the opportunities available. However, the library's over-all mandate must always take precedence and opportunity for volunteer involvement may be restricted.
  • Each volunteer shall perform duties in the library in the presence of at least one regular staff member. Volunteers should seek prior consultation and approval from appropriate staff prior to any action or statement, which might affect or obligate the library. These actions may include, but are not limited to, public statements to the press, coalition or lobbying efforts with other organizations or any agreements involving contractual or other financial obligations.
  • Individuals are not eligible to volunteer if a member of their immediate family is already a paid staff member. At the discretion of the Chief Librarian, this may be overlooked in light of the task to be performed, the duration and the desired outcome.
  • All personal information is collected for internal purposes only. Volunteer records will be kept in a secure location. All requests for information about volunteers must be through the volunteer coordinator who will consider volunteer files as confidential.
  • Volunteers are not automatically hired if a full time vacancy becomes available. Any appointee must meet specific criteria that include education and experience and other desired qualities.
How to Apply

By mail:

Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Attn: Library Sector
El Shatby 21526
Alexandria , Egypt

By email:

When applying by email, please include a cover letter stating the intended position applying for, as well as a copy of your CV, as an attachment in a PDF Format.

Email applications may be sent to Reference.Training@bibalex.org .

**IMPORTANT: Please type BA Volunteers as the subject of your email.

By fax:

When faxing your CV and cover letter, please include a fax cover sheet with the subject BA Volunteers and to the attention of the Library Sector/Chief Librarian's Office.

Our fax number is +203 483 9999.

Only candidates selected for further interviewing will be contacted.