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Electronic Books

For a list of electronic books available for sale in our online bookstore, click here

There are many books, reports, and guides offered FREE of charge as downloadable PDFs.    Descriptions and links to these are organized as appropriate within the topic sections of the library:

The following are our most-commonly requested titles (also linked in the topic sections):


Measuring the Difference Volunteers Make:
A Guide to Outcome Evaluation for Volunteer Program Managers

by Melissa Eystad, Editor (30 pp.)
With permission of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, this extremely useful 1997 guidebook (now out of print) is available free of charge in electronic form. (Thanks to Melissa Eystad of World Spirit Consulting for sharing this copy.)

Turn Your Organisation into a Volunteer Magnet, 2nd ed.
Edited by Andy Fryar, Rob Jackson, and Fraser Dyer (2007, 204 pp.)
Essays from contributors from Australia, the UK and the US on attracting the best and most diverse volunteers and then working with them successfully. (The 1st edition of this book, published in 2004, can be downloaded here.)

The Virtual Volunteering Guidebook: How to Apply the Principles of Real-World Volunteer Management to Online Service
by Susan J. Ellis and Jayne Cravens (138 pp.)
Comprehensive look at how to develop and manage an online volunteer program.

Available in Spanish (la traducción de la Guía de Voluntariado Virtual de Susan Ellis y Jayne Cravens) at:

Volunteer Centers: Gearing Up for the 1990s (97 pp.)
by Susan J. Ellis
When the United Way of America let her 1989 Volunteer Centers book go out of print, Susan received permission to make it available online free of charge. The material is still very pertinent today for anyone starting or re-assessing a volunteer center.


What is an electronic book?
An electronic book is a book which you can read on the computer (or print from your computer). It can be anywhere from a few pages long to several hundred. The format of most of these books is pdf and is read by a special program. Both are explained below.

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What is a PDF file and how do I access it?
PDF files are documents which can be read on any computer. You simply need the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in to read them. You can read these documents directly on your computer or can print them out and read them elsewhere. PDF files maintain all the original layout of a document and, therefore, make it easy to share these documents across the Internet. (The layout of a Web page, an HTML file, can vary significantly from one browser to another).

How do I get the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in?
If you have Netscape Navigator 3.0 or later or Internet Explorer 4.0 or later, Adobe Acrobat Reader is already part of your browser and you can open any pdf file simply by clicking on the link. If you have an older version of these two browsers or a different browser, you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader. It's quick and easy. Go to
and you can download the program file there. Remember to bookmark this page so you can return to it!

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How do I use Adobe Acrobat Reader?
In most cases, you'll only need rudimentary knowledge of the program to use it. When you open your document, you will be able to page through it simply by clicking on the page buttons in the lower left corner (or if there is an index or table of contents shown, you can following the hyperlinks -- like a web page). If the pages or words are too small, increase the percentage in the lower left hand corner.

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