Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Share your Enthusiasm about the Humanities:
Become a Public Outreach Volunteer

Help the Ransom Center achieve its mission to advance the study of the arts and humanities by volunteering in one of these high-visibility positions. Opportunities are available to volunteer at the visitor services desk, at special events, or as a docent. Accepting applications for the upcoming year until Monday, June 16, 2014.

Benefits:

    • Specialized training about/on the Center's renowned collections and engaging exhibitions
    • Behind-the-scenes perspective of one of the world's finest cultural archives, including interactions with curators, archivists, librarians, and other experts in their field
    • Interact with people of all ages, and learn to speak eloquently about diverse topics
    • Volunteer-only book club focusing on the Ransom Center's collections and exhibitions
    • Social events and continuing education opportunities for volunteers only. Recent events included presentations of materials from the McSweeney's archive and recent photography acquisitions and a behind-the-scenes building tour.
    • Access to lectures and special events
    • Discount in the Ransom Center's Online Store

Because of the training involved, we ask for a one year commitment from our volunteers.

We receive a high volume of applications. To ensure a great volunteer experience, we review all applications and then contact qualified applicants to arrange an in-person interview. Submitting a completed application doesn't guarantee a volunteer position.

Questions? Contact Lisa Pulsifer, Associate Curator for Education and Public Engagement, by phone at 512-475-8086 or via email at lisapulsifer@austin.utexas.edu.   Volunteer Application


Visitor Services Volunteers

Reports to: Director of Marketing

Mission: Help the Ransom Center achieve its mission of advancing the study of the arts and humanities

General Function and Scope:
Visitor services volunteers are responsible for welcoming and orienting visitors to the Harry Ransom Center and ensuring all visitors have a positive and enjoyable experience. This high-visibility position serves an important role at the Ransom Center as it is the focal point of incoming and outgoing information. The primary function of the visitor services volunteer is to be a resource to our visitors, answering a myriad of questions and orienting them to the Center.

Time Commitment: Position requires at least 2-3 hours per week, September through August. Schedules will be determined at the start of each semester. Shifts available weekdays and weekends.

Specific Job Responsibilities:

Greet and orient visitors to the Harry Ransom Center. Provide courteous, welcoming, and informed customer service. Duties include:

    • Fielding questions,
    • Actively offering advice and information,
    • Disseminating information about the Ransom Center including its services and activities, exhibitions and events, publications and flyers,
    • Informing visitors of other University and local activities, museums, events, and amenities
    • Other information, as needed.

Volunteers will be expected to:

    • Provide a warm and informative welcome to Ransom Center visitors
    • Learn the layout of the Ransom Center
    • Keep informed of exhibitions, programs, and special events
    • Become familiar with policies and protocols
    • Ensure desk is visible, clean, organized, and well stocked with museum literature
    • Work in cooperation with guards and docents to ensure all visitors' needs are met
    • Support the marketing department by seeking and monitoring regular feedback from visitors regarding their experience.

Qualifications:
Friendly individual with strong communication and customer service skills, who is resourceful, listens well, is friendly and comfortable interacting with the general public, and has an interest in supporting the Ransom Center's public outreach goals. Ability to maintain pleasant attitude even under stress and handle multiple tasks preferred. Retail experience is a plus. Ages 18+.

We receive a high volume of applications. To ensure a great volunteer experience, we review all applications and then contact qualified applicants to arrange an in-person interview. Submitting a completed application doesn't guarantee a volunteer position.

Questions? Contact Lisa Pulsifer, Associate Curator for Education and Public Engagement, by phone at 512-475-8086 or via email at lisapulsifer@austin.utexas.edu.   Volunteer Application


Special Event Volunteers

Reports to: Associate Curator for Education and Public Engagement

Mission: Help the Ransom Center achieve its mission of advancing the study of the arts and humanities

General Function and Scope:
Special event volunteers are responsible for welcoming and orienting program attendees to the Harry Ransom Center and ensuring all attendees have a positive and enjoyable experience at the program. This high-visibility position serves an important role at the Ransom Center as it is the focal point of incoming and outgoing information at public programs, receptions, and facility rental events. The primary function of the special event volunteer is to provide, in conjunction with a full-time staff member at events, great customer service to visitors and event attendees.

Time Commitment: Positions require at least 3 events per month (each event lasts approximately 4 hours) September through August. Evening and weekend availability is required, because almost all programs/events occur on weekday evenings or weekends.

Specific Job Responsibilities:

Greet and orient visitors to events at the Harry Ransom Center. Provide courteous, welcoming, and informed customer service. Duties include:

    • Fielding questions,
    • Actively offering advice and information,
    • Taking attendance and observational demographic data,
    • Ushering, and
    • Distributing and collecting comment cards.

Volunteers will be expected to:

    • Learn the layout of the Ransom Center
    • Become familiar with event policies and protocols
    • Keep informed of exhibitions and upcoming programs
    • Work in cooperation with guards and staff to ensure all visitors' needs are met

Qualifications:
Friendly individual with strong communication and customer service skills, who listens well, is comfortable interacting with the public, and has an interest in supporting the Ransom Center's public outreach goals. Ability to maintain pleasant attitude under pressure is important. Ages 18+.

We receive a high volume of applications. To ensure a great volunteer experience, we review all applications and then contact qualified applicants to arrange an in-person interview. Submitting a completed application doesn't guarantee a volunteer position.

Questions? Contact Lisa Pulsifer, Associate Curator for Education and Public Engagement, by phone at 512-475-8086 or via email at lisapulsifer@austin.utexas.edu.   Volunteer Application


Docents

Reports to: Associate Curator for Education and Public Engagement

Mission: Help the Ransom Center achieve its mission to advance the study of the arts and humanities

General Function and Scope:
Docent volunteers are responsible for welcoming, orienting, and guiding groups of visitors through the Harry Ransom Center. The primary function of the docents is to lead tours through our exhibition space, including items on permanent display, the Gutenberg Bible and First Photograph, and rotating exhibitions (1-3 per year). Ensuring all visitors have a positive and enjoyable experience is the position's primary goal.

Time Commitment: Positions require at least a 4-hour per week commitment September through August. This time includes training, preparation, and tours. Shifts available weekdays and weekends.

Specific Job Responsibilities:

Plan, practice and implement guided tours of the current exhibitions. Duties include:

    • Exploring the exhibitions to learn about their content and context,
    • Reading docent materials including labels, articles, and recommended books,
    • Greeting and orienting visitors to the Harry Ransom Center,
    • Engaging groups of 5-20 visitors in the galleries,
    • Interpreting the exhibitions for visitors of all ages, and
    • Providing other information, as needed.

Volunteers will be expected to:

    • Learn the layout of the Ransom Center
    • Keep informed of upcoming exhibitions, programs, and special events
    • Become familiar with policies and protocols
    • Work in cooperation with guards and visitor services volunteers to ensure all visitors' needs are met.

Qualifications:
Friendly individual with strong communication skills, who is resourceful, flexible, listens well, is comfortable interacting with visitors of all ages, and has an interest in learning more about the Ransom Center's collections. Ability to maintain a pleasant attitude even under stress preferred. Ages 18+.

We receive a high volume of applications. To ensure a great volunteer experience, we review all applications and then contact qualified applicants to arrange an in-person interview. Submitting a completed application doesn't guarantee a volunteer position.

Questions? Contact Lisa Pulsifer, Associate Curator for Education and Public Engagement, by phone at 512-475-8086 or via email at lisapulsifer@austin.utexas.edu.   Volunteer Application

 
 

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