Long-time, Dependable Journal of Extension Free to All
We are generally primed to get excited by things that are new. But it's important to remember that traditional materials can remain useful, even vibrant. One great example is the Journal of Extension (JOE), the official refereed journal of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System (which includes 4-H, Master Gardeners, nutrition advisors and other volunteer-centered programs). As of June 1994, JOE has been published exclusively on the World Wide Web at www.joe.org. Along with new issues of JOE, back issues to 1963 are also available online. And the full contents are accessible to any site visitor at no charge. Well over a million site visits have been recorded annually since 1998.
I just did a search of JOE's archives on the word "volunteer" and got 1,890 results! Despite the focus of Cooperative Extension on agricultural matters and its academic bent (after all, they are part of major state universities), JOE includes many articles about working with volunteers and the community, most of which are widely applicable. For example, in the April 2012 issue, four articles include "volunteer" in their title, including: North Central Region 4-H Volunteers: Documenting Their Contributions and Volunteer Contributions (which offers a method of assessing volunteer services) and Volunteer Middle Managers: Human Resources That Extend Programmatic Outreach (which encourages the sharing of work with leadership volunteers).
Just a random look at the archive search produced such titles as:
- Disengaging a Volunteer: What to Do When Supervision Fails (October 2011)
- Urban and Rural 4-H Adult Volunteer Leaders' Preferred Forms of Recognition and Motivation (June 2003)
- Targeted Recruitment of 4-H Volunteers Involves Understanding Who Currently Volunteers and Why (August 2004)
- The Nature and Extent of Conflict Among Volunteer Leaders in the 4-H Horse Project: Implications for Effective Program Management (February 2012)
- Incorporating Volunteer Mentors to Strengthen Extension Programs (August 2010)
Some articles summarize research while others are written to provoke new thinking. JOE also hosts an online discussion forum on key topics.
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