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Volunteer At NYPL


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: 3:00 p.m.7:00 p.m.; Friday: 3:00 p.m.5:00 p.m. 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 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 , Riverside, Yorkville and Aguilar locations in Manhattan and at our  Throg's Neck Library in the Bronx.  Please respond with library name in the subject line to Please include a volunteer application and a cover letter. Link to application is at the bottom of this page.

Information Desk Volunteers 

Outgoing, dynamic individuals needed for Volunteer Desk shifts at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue to serve visitors from around the world. Knowledge of another language in addition to English is necessary. Four hour shifts on weekends  are available.  Knowledge of NYC and love of libraries essential. Maintain knowledge of public programs offered by NYPL and respond to visitor questions. Assist with distribution and collection of audio guides. Maintain visitor brochure supply. Training provided. Please email application to with Info Desk in subject line.

Oral History Community Ambassadors

We're inviting the public to work with us to make 1,200+ hours of oral history interviews from our Community Oral History Project accessible for the first time! This is an important initiative and it will only be possible to make this huge amount of unheard history accessible with the help of people throughout our city.

We're looking for engaged project leaders! Community Ambassadors will build community organizing and group facilitation skills while they...

  • Represent NYPL on a mission to create access to 1,200+ hours of personal city histories.
  • Recruit communities to make this historic audio more searchable for the first time!
  • Lead one-time volunteers in using innovative technology to correct automated transcripts.
  • Meet interesting people, make great connections
Complete this Ambassador Interest Form to sign up for a training! Sign up deadline is February 22nd.

Homework Help Needed

Volunteers are needed for  helping  young children and teens with their homework, weekdays, after school. Just one afternoon a week could make a difference to a young person struggling with schoolwork.  Westchester SquareMorris Park and Bronx Library Center in the Bronx are a few of the locations needing assistance along with Hamilton Grange in Manhattan . Please email your application with Homework Help in the subject line.

Other Interesting Opportunities

Experienced writer needed to lead a Writer's Circle for Adults at our Mulberry Street Library. The group would meet once a month in the evening from 5:30 pm to 6:45 pm on a weeknight. The idea is for participants to form their own community and foster each other's writing projects, but  an experienced volunteer leader to give helpful tips and give structure to the group is necessary. Please email with Writer in the subject line.

Spanish and French-speaking volunteers are needed to help tutor teens after school in French and Spanish at our Pelham Parkway - Van Nest Library . Twice a week, any afternoon between 3pm and 6pm.  Please email and put French tutor or Spanish tutor in the subject line.

Spanish speaking  volunteers are needed to help with Computer Classes at our Inwood Library on Wednesdays at 11am.

At our Bronx Library Center  tech savvy volunteers are needed to help visitors log in and reserve computer appointments. Please email

Chess tutors are needed for kids and teens at our Kips Bay Library in Manhattan and at our Hunt's Point and Mott Haven Library in the Bronx.  Afternoons or saturdays. Please email with Chess in the subject line.

Sewing tutors are needed at various locations. Share your love of sewing with others! Lead a small group of 6-8 people in learning to sew. All machines and supplies provided. We are hoping for 6-8 weeks of classes for about 2 hours. If interested email with Sew in the subject line. 

 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.

  • Emigrant City - Help transcribe 19th and 20th century real estate records.
  • Map Warper - Help transform historical street maps into an interactive digital atlas.
  • Together We Listen - help correct oral histories and learn a new transcription software.

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

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.

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