What the heck is a Docent, and why do you really want to be one?

Docent with student

UPDATE: Thank you to all of the wonderful applicants we've seen as a result of this blog post. We are currently at capacity, and will not be accepting more Docent applications at this time. Check back later!

At DPL, “Docent” is a fancy word for a highly-trained volunteer with special skills, and here at the Community Technology Center, docents are basically the glue that holds the place together.

They teach one-on-one lessons to customers who need help with topics like email, internet searching, word processing and job seeking, as well as downloading music and even advanced topics like designing websites. They also work the help desk with staff, answering phones and customer questions with intelligence, courtesy and a healthy sense of humor. Some docents even teach classes. After hours brings the notorious CTC Happy Hour where docents and staff get together at a place with food and drink a’plenty to get to know each other more, laugh about crazy experiences while helping people, and find community with like-minded folk. Friendships blossom @the CTC. Docenting with us is one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences you could wish for- plus it looks great on a resume! ;)

And you’re in luck because we need more docents! You don’t have to be a total techie to docent with us. If you are a competent computer user who likes to work with people and gets a kick out of helping those in need, join our team! And if you do have special tech skills, all the better.

Fill out the online volunteer application online or call the volunteer department and let ‘em know you’re interested in us! 720-865-2043

You can always learn more about the CTC by visiting us on the 4th floor of the Central library, calling us at 720-865-1706 or checking out denverlibrary.org/ctc

Comments

If I were seeking paid work at the Community Technology Center, would you recommend becoming a docent as an avenue to that end?

Many of the folks who work at the CTC now originally started as docents (including myself). Though it's not a sure-fire way to get a position here, it definitely helps. In general, volunteering at the place you want to work is a good idea.

I wonder why you keep posting ads asking for volunteer docents when people who do fill out the application never hear back from you. The library has been advertising for this program for a long time. Almost a year ago several friends and I (all computer literate, skilled IT people used to teaching and training) all filled out and submitted applications. We never heard back. Some of the group filled out another set several months later. They never heard anything back either. It is common courtesy to at least contact the people who bothered to fill out and submit the form to let them know their services will not be required - should that be the case. However, it is disrespectful of our time, effort, and sincere interest in helping to repeatedly ignore applications - especially while continuing to call for volunteers. Please don't waste our time.

Dear Anonymous,

The Denver Public Library values and relies on numerous Technology Docents to assist with our daily operations in the Community Technology Center (CTC). We are not aware of any application that we have not responded to, but sincerely apologize if you've experienced any inconvenience in the application process.

Since 2009 we have received 119 applications from highly dedicated individuals wanting to contribute their time and technology expertise. During this time, we have benefitted from 108 Technology Docents; the majority joined our team via iapplicants, and we currently have 74 assisting in the CTC today.

We have a true partnership with our Technology Docents; some have been with us for a few months, others, for several years. We are continually bringing new participants in; the daily activities and services provided through the CTC drives this initiative. Our most recent docent members are currently receiving training.

During the times that all docent vacancies are filled, we temporarily remove the iapplicant Technology Docent page until new openings become available again.

Thank you for your feedback, and for bringing your experience to our attention.

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