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Volunteer At NYPL

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Current Opportunities

Mentor a Middle Schooler

The Out of School Time division seeks enthusiastic individuals to provide individual mentorship and academic assistance to middle school children in our “Innovation Labs” program for grades 6 through 8.  The middle school Innovation Labs programs are semester-long after-school enrichment programs at Westchester Square Library  or West Farms in the Bronx.  Innovation Labs seeks to aid students in their development of 21st century skills, adolescent identity, and voice by providing a variety of digital and non-digital project-based learning opportunities in a uniquely informal environment, while also offering personal mentorship and homework help from dedicated staff.  Read more.

Volunteers Needed For BridgeUp Program

NYPL BridgeUp is one of the New York Public Library's newest initiatives to support NYC youth. NYPL BridgeUp is building a network to support students from underserved communities by developing cohorts of high school graduates who are prepared to thrive in college and career. To accomplish this, BridgeUp has established a network of safe spaces within local branches in the Bronx and Manhattan that allow students to come together to develop their individual passions and creativity, while helping them succeed both academically and socially. A major part of this initiative is providing students with daily access to caring mentors who offer homework help and tutoring services.

Program Schedule: September 2015 through June 2016: Monday through Thursday: 3:00pm7:00pm; Friday: 3:00pm5:00pm. NYPL BridgeUp is looking for volunteers who can assist Scholars in any of the four major subject areas, as well as the creative and digital arts.  We ask that volunteers can commit to a minimum of one afternoon per week for the duration of the school year.  We currently have openings at these locations:

In addition to supporting Scholars, volunteers may be asked to assist BridgeUp staff with the set-up of these daily program activities: charging laptops, making copies, organizing supplies, serving snacks to students, and putting away materials.

If you or someone you know has an interest in mentoring our teens, or supporting them with their academic, college prep, and/or creative endeavors, please email volunteer@nypl.org and include a copy of your resume and a completed NYPL Volunteer Application.

Shelving Help Needed

Volunteers are needed for  helping with shelving at our Ottendorfer , Grand Central and Aguilar locations in Manhattan and at our Van Cortlandt Library in the Bronx.  Please respond with library name in the subject line to volunteer@nypl.org. Please include a volunteer application and a cover letter. Link to application is at the bottom of this page.

Online Volunteers

Collaborate with NYPL to build the library of the future! We're doing this with the help of volunteers. We're exploring new and fun ways of improving access to rare and unique collections online. These are projects you can work on anytime, anywhere with an internet connection. We have two active initiatives now. More are on the way! No need to fill out an application. Get started immediately by following the links below.

  • What's on the Menu? - Help transcribe our famous restaurant menu collection to make it more searchable.
  • Map Warper - Help transform historical street maps into an interactive digital atlas.

Getting Involved

If you are interested in any of the above, please fill out an application (PDF) and mail to:

New York Public Library, Volunteer Office, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Avenue, Room 67 - VOL
New York, NY 10018.

You may also email your application to volunteer@nypl.org.

Please do not apply for a library that is not mentioned in any of the current opportunities. Please do not apply if you are unable to make a once a week commitment for at least six months.

Teens wanting to volunteer or their parents may enjoy reading the following article, Kids and Community Service.

Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to all. If your qualifications match with our current needs, we will contact you. Please do not apply for positions that are not listed.