The Maryland State Archives needs history lovers! Reference volunteers help provide access to Maryland’s historical records from its founding to recent years, and learn valuable skills regarding proper records handling, materials circulation, and local genealogy.
- Assists Archives’ patrons by retrieving requested records from stacks and library.
- Assists archivists with the Reference email program by assisting with research for requests received.
- Provides feedback to webmaster / web committee regarding Guide content.
- Reports any conditions of records and environmental conditions to the supervisor.
- Observes circulation desk archivists to learn how to conduct Reference consultations with clients.
- Monitors patron activity by observation, interaction, and circulation, such as walking around the Search Room, noting any rule violations and suspicious behavior and reporting any concerns to the senior archivist or supervisor on duty.
- Assists with other minor Reference duties assigned by supervisor
- Assists with social media promotions.
- Keyboards transcriptions of circulation slips into Access database.
- Provides friendly assistance to patrons in Search Room with basic Reference and computer questions after sufficient training
Orientation and Training
Volunteers will receive training from the reference volunteer supervisor, and will report to the supervisor and the search room coordinator for questions, assistance, and guidance.
Preferred hours should at least include (but are not limited to) either 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., on the day or days which the volunteer and volunteer supervisor select from available shifts Tuesday through Friday.
Computer workstations, office software including Access, web browsers, Google docs, ladders, and bookcarts.
- Must be able to lift up to fifty pounds.
- May require the use of protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, masks, etc.
- Transportation (by bus or personal vehicle).
- Comfortable but professional attire
- A familiarity in American history, archives, library science, community service, and/or customer service is preferred.
- Although the Archives is closed to the public on Mondays, volunteers may use the public computers and the Search Room library shelving on the first floor. (Please note that the building is completely closed on Mondays that fall on a state holiday.) During open hours, volunteers also may obtain plain copies of scanned records at no charge.
- 20% off staff discount on publications and materials sold in the lobby bookstore.
- Reference volunteers are encouraged to attend special tours and events, such as tours of historic buildings, lectures by guest speakers, and hands-on training from other departments. Volunteers are always encouraged to attend the monthly free Lunch and Learn programs.