Frequently Asked Questions

General

Q: Who are the Friends of the Mountain View Library? 

A: We’re an all-volunteer group made up of members of the community who all love the Mountain View Public Library. Learn more about our history and our Board. 

Q: What do the Friends of the Mountain View Library Do? 

A: We’re a charitable organization that raises money for the Mountain View Public Library. The money we raise helps fund programs and activities at the Library such as author visits, musical performances, adult education, kids arts and crafts and more. 

Q: How do the Friends make money? 

A: Through the sale of donated books and media at our Book Sales or online stores, purchases made in the Lobby Shop, membership fees and monetary donations

Donations

Q: Can I donate money? 

A: Absolutely! We accept monetary donations of any amount. You can donate online or mail us a check. Our mailing address is 585 Franklin St., Mountain View, CA 94041.

Q: What materials can I donate? 

A: Gently used paperback and hardback fiction and non-fiction books that are not damaged, dirty or damp; books and music on CD, software, DVDs and Blu-ray disks, computer manuals published in the last four years, and Spanish language materials. We DO NOT accept newspapers, magazines, catalogs, encyclopedias, cassettes or VHS tapes, or foreign language materials other than Spanish. 

Q: Is my donation tax deductible? 

A: Yes, we are a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Our tax ID is 23-7255217. 

Q: Can I donate a book to go into the Library?

A: Not directly. The Library purchases and manages all books and media in its catalog. You can request a specific book be purchased by the Library by submitting a request directly to them. Be sure to list the precise edition you are requesting.

Q: How do donations help the Library?

A: Donations of books, media and money allow us to fund activities that don’t fit within the Library’s current budget. The Friends are the sole sponsors of the Library’s Summer Reading Program and the Best Seller Collections of popular books and DVDs. The Friends also help pay for author visits, educational programs for children and adults, musical performances and more. 

Volunteering

Q: How can I volunteer? 

A: Apply using our volunteer application and selecting which opportunities you’re interested in. You can email or mail us the form and we’ll follow up with you to match you to a volunteer position. 

Q: What types of volunteer jobs do you have? 

A: We need volunteers to help sort donated materials, work in the Lobby Shop and at quarterly Book Sales, help with online sales, marketing, volunteer recruitment and more. If you have questions about volunteer opportunities, email us at fmvlvolunteers@gmail.com.

Q: Is there an age limit for volunteers? 

A: We welcome volunteers of all ages. Volunteers under 16 must be supervised by a parent or guardian. Not all ages are suited for every volunteer opportunity. Be sure to talk with one of our functional leads to understand what each volunteer job entails.  

Volunteering in the Lobby Shop

Q: Where is the Lobby Shop?

A: It’s just inside the front entrance of the Library across from the Circulation desk and check-out machines.

Q: Who works in the Lobby Shop?

A: The Lobby Shop is run by the Friends of the Mountain View Library and is staffed by volunteers.

Q: How often would I need to volunteer?

A: Volunteers typically put in two hours per week on a regular schedule. Some volunteers help by being on-call to work as needed or as fill-in for vacations.

 Q: How long is a volunteer shift?

A: Most people take a single two-hour shift each week.

 Q: When would I be volunteering?

A: You tell us what time(s) and day(s) you are available, and we match that to openings in the staff schedule. You are not assigned a time that does not fit your availability. We only open the shop during regular Library hours, and we close the shop when volunteers are not available.

Q: Do I need to know how to run a cash register?

A: We provide training and stay with you until you are comfortable with the job.

Q: Do I need to be a library or book expert?

A: No, the Library’s professional staff handles Library issues. Volunteers meet and greet people coming into the shop and run the cash register.

Q: How does the Lobby Shop help the Library?

A: Proceeds from the Lobby Shop are donated back to the Library to support programs and activities. The Friends are the sole sponsors of the Children’s Summer Reading Program and the Bestseller Collections of popular books and DVDs. The Friends also help pay for author visits, children’s and adults enrichment programs, musical performances and more.

Volunteering to Sort Donations

Q: What kind of work would I be doing? 

A: Sorting volunteers work in teams to take in all the donations of books and media and then evaluate them for sale through our online store fronts, the Lobby Shop or Book Sales. 

Q: How long is a volunteer shift?

A: Most people take a single two-hour shift each week on Monday morning or Friday afternoon. Saturday shifts are 90 minutes long. Wednesday shifts are pending volunteer support.

Q: When would I be volunteering?

A: You tell us what time(s) and day(s) you are available, and we match that to openings in the  schedule.

Q: Do I need to be a book expert?

A: Nope. We’ll train you on all the ins and outs of processing donated materials. 

Q: Where is all this work done?

A: In the back of the Library next to the Bookmobile garage.

Volunteering for Online Sales 

Q: What kind of tasks would I be doing? 

A: Online sales volunteers work in teams to list books on our Amazon and eBay stores, process online orders, help with shipping orders, provide customer service and manage inventory. 

Q: How long is a volunteer shift? 

A: Online sales volunteers typically work one or more two-hour shifts. 

Q: Can I do any of this work from home? 

A: Inventory management and customer service support can be done from home. 

Volunteering for Marketing

Q: What kind of marketing tasks would I be doing? 

A: We need help with graphic design, managing social media, staffing special events, and miscellaneous administrative tasks like ordering and distributing marketing materials, making copies, etc…

Q: Can I help with marketing from home? 

A: Absolutely! Almost all marketing work can be done from home on your own schedule. We sometimes need extra volunteers to help staff in-person special events that happen at specific times during the year.

Friends Board

Q: What does the Friends Board do? 

A: The Board is responsible for the management and allocation of funds raised by the Friends to support Library programs. The Board also oversees the operation of the Lobby Shop, intake and processing of donated materials, sale of donated materials, coordination of volunteers and marketing and publicity for the Friends. 

Q: When and where does the Board meet?  

A: Board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month. Email us to register to attend for the next Board meeting. 

Q: How can I join the Friends Board? 

A: There is a nominating process beginning in March each year. If you or someone you know would like to be considered for the Friends Board, email us.

Q: How long is a Board term? 

A: Directors at Large serve one-year terms and Officers serve two-year terms.  There is no limit on how many terms you can volunteer.

Q: Do Board members get paid? 

A: All Board members are volunteers and do not receive compensation.