Policy for Volunteers and Interns
This policy is designed to enable the University of Texas at Dallas Libraries to accept volunteers and interns (or practicum students), reduce risk, and protect the interests of the Libraries, their volunteers and interns, and the community they serve.
Volunteers and interns are uncompensated individuals who perform services directly related to the business of the Libraries. In performing these tasks, they support the mission of the Libraries and gain experience in specific library-related endeavors.
Responsibilities of the Volunteer or Intern and Library Expectations
Volunteers and interns are expected to abide by the Libraries’ policies and procedures and external regulations that govern their actions including, but not limited to, those relating to ethical behavior, safety, confidentiality, protected health information, computer use, financial responsibility, and drug use. Volunteers and interns are expected to conduct themselves in a businesslike and courteous manner, consistent with the high quality service goals of the Libraries. A willful disregard for or deliberate violation of University or Library policies and expectations will result in termination.
Appointments, assignments of duty, and dismissals of volunteers or interns are the responsibility of the department supervisor or Director of Libraries and are not subject to the employment policies and procedures of the University of Texas at Dallas. Volunteers or interns must agree to a specific work program and schedule with their supervisors. They are responsible for notifying their supervisors when they are unable to report for work. If the work is being done to complete a course or degree requirement (i.e., a practicum), the library supervisor and the practicum supervisor shall agree on an assignment for the intern/practicum student. Volunteers and interns are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and are not considered employees for any purpose. Therefore, they are not eligible for compensation or benefits as a result of their association with the University Libraries.
No employer-employee relationship shall be deemed to exist between an individual serving as a volunteer, intern, or practicum student and the University Libraries. There is no promise to pay or hire a volunteer/intern for services rendered. All persons serving in a volunteer capacity are not covered by worker's compensation insurance and must sign a UT-System Volunteer Release Form before they start their volunteer work.
Employees of the Libraries shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, political affiliation, or sexual orientation in the selection or supervision of volunteers or interns in accordance with UT-Dallas Non-Discrimination Policy.
Who May Volunteer or Serve as an Intern
Anyone, including retirees, students, alumni, or others may provide volunteer/intern services to the Libraries, with the following restrictions:
- A person must be at least eighteen years old.
- A current UT-Dallas employee may not become a volunteer or intern at the Libraries in any capacity related to the individual’s regular work at the University. A current employee may only volunteer for special events, such as Freshman Orientation, Commencement, and the like.
Volunteers or interns may not replace employee positions or impair the employment of a library position. Volunteer/intern services are limited to tasks assigned and supervised by the department head.
Volunteers and interns are also prohibited from performing the following activities:
- Operating heavy equipment
- Operating university vehicles
- Working with stored energy (e.g., steam, electricity, hydraulics)
- Activity considered inappropriate for any employee
- Entering into any contract on behalf of the University of Texas at Dallas Libraries
When selecting and engaging a volunteer or intern, it is the department’s responsibility to be certain (1) that the individual has adequate experience, qualifications, and training for the task he or she will be asked to perform and (2) that the criminal background check per UTD’s Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, D2-115.0, and the Volunteer Release Form is completed. (See below.)
Departments within the Libraries wishing to engage a Volunteer must:
- Register the volunteers’ service by documenting the names of those persons who are authorized to perform volunteer/intern service and the dates of that service. A brief description of the volunteer's or intern's expected duties should be given. The documentation should be kept for 3 years.
- Ascertain whether the individual is at least eighteen years of age by reviewing appropriate proof of age presented by the volunteer or intern.
- Complete criminal background check for all volunteers/interns/practicum students prior to their beginning service at the Libraries.
- Complete and sign a Volunteer Release Form. Volunteers/interns/practicum students who do not agree to sign this form or do not agree to a criminal background check will be refused an assignment.
- Provide appropriate orientation materials for volunteers and interns prior to commencing services, such as policies of the UT-Dallas Libraries.
A volunteer’s/intern/practicum student's term of service may be terminated at any time and without prior notice.
Comments or questions? Email the departmental supervisor at the University of Texas at Dallas Libraries.