Recruit Volunteers

The model thus far calls for both the partner organization and the archivist organizers to recruit volunteers. The partner organization is probably best equipped to reach out to its existing volunteer base and/or the wider community. As members of the planning committee you have connections to the archival community, you can also do recruitment through your own networks.

With a longer timeline, a pre-workshop event can be done to build awareness in the local community. A free workshop on basic concepts of film and video preservation, held 3-4 weeks before the Community Archiving Workshop, could be a good way to build interest. A screening of recently preserved works, or dubs of works needing attention, could serve the same purpose of advertising the upcoming Community Archiving event.

Have a discussion with the site about:

  • What the target number of volunteers is overall, and the goals for the site and the planning committee (as noted above pairing an expert with a volunteer can be effective)
  • How each partner plans to conduct recruitment––role and responsibilities
  • A timeline for recruitment
  • Regardless of who does the outreach, it is essential that all volunteers know what to expect when taking part in the workshop.
  • The initial call for volunteers does not have to be very detailed, but should briefly describe the concept of the workshop, and tell volunteers why their work will be valuable to the organization (and also, make it sound fun!).

Volunteer Packet

After the community volunteers have signed up, it is a good idea for either the partner organization or the workshop organizers to send a volunteer packet in advance of the workshop, including:

  • Logistics – how to get to the site, time and date.
  • Background information about the host organization.
  • Background information about workshop organizers. Possibly a list of workshop trainers with short bios, if available.
  • Background information about the selected collection, including a description of its content, its history, its size, and what formats will be worked on at the workshop.
  • Pictures of the formats they will be working with, if possible.
  • Statement on why archiving and preservation is important, and how their efforts will contribute to it.
  • Easy-to-understand description of the types of activities that they will receive hands-on experience in, i.e. triage, inspection, cataloging.
  • Accessibility information, and any physical requirements (e.g. ability to lift a certain weight, needing to stand for several hours, etc).
  • If refreshments will be provided, and opportunity to state dietary restrictions.
  • A list of event sponsors (this is not only to acknowledge supply and equipment donors, but to provide community volunteers with info about where to get supplies and equipment in the future)

SEE Download Sample Documents for sample Workshop Sign-up sheet and Volunteer Packet. You can also review Past Workshops to see volunteer packets used for past workshops.