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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.

Information Desk Volunteers

Volunteers are needed at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building evenings and weekends to assist at Information Desks throughout the building. Greet visitors, offer directions and referrals to proper departments, explain how to use audio guides. Mention events, classes, building and exhibition tours and also act as an ambassador for the library and for New York City.  Interact with visitors of all ages. Customer service experience helpful but not necessary. Knowledge of a foreign language also helpful. Various schedules available Tuesday and Wednesday evenings or weekends.  Must be computer literate. Email

Tutors Needed For BridgeUp Program

NYPL BridgeUp is one of the New York Public Library's newest initiative to support NYC youth. NYPL BridgeUp aspires to build a supportive network of students from underserved communities through developing cohorts of high school graduates who are prepared to thrive in college and career. To accomplish this, the Program is creating a network of safe spaces within local branches, in the Bronx and Upper 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 homework help and tutoring services that will strengthen their academic skills.

Program Schedule: September 2104 through June 2015,: Monday-Thursday: 3:15pm-6:15pm; Friday: 3:15pm-5pm Students will be selected from the 8th grade, and remain a cohort through the 12th grade. Volunteers are asked to commit to one day each week and come once a week through the school year.

In its first year, NYPL BridgeUp will serve as the primary OST base for 50 students (10 students in each of five sites) whose academic potential and social development have been limited due to a lack of resources, opportunities, and/or guidance. During program hours, students will receive homework help, tutoring services, guided time for group creative work, and life/study/college prep skills groups.

NYPL BridgeUp is looking for volunteers who can commit to providing at least 4 hours a week for the duration of the program schedule (cited above) in one of five community branches. We currently have openings at four locations:

  • Belmont could use help with literacy skills on Monday through Thursday afternoons from 3:45pm to 5:15pm.
  • Allerton needs a tutor to help two students with homework on Tuesday to Thursday afternoons from 3:15pm - 5:15pm.
  • General daily assistance is needed at our Bronx Library Center and our Countee Cullen libraries working with the students in the program and assisting the lead teaching fellows.

Volunteers will assist BridgeUp staff with:

  • Daily program activities (i.e., charging laptops, making copies, organizing supplies, serving snacks to students, and putting away materials)
  • Providing homework help

We are looking for volunteers who have an interest in youth development and knowledge of NYC DOE curriculum and college prep activities. Please respond with Bridge Up in the subject line to Please include a resume. Please include an NYPL Volunteer Application.

Shelving Help Needed

Volunteers are needed for  helping with shelving at our  Roosevelt Island and St. Agnes locations in Manhattan and at our Van Cortlandt Library in the Bronx.  Please respond with St. Agnes , Roosevelt or Van Cortlandt in the subject line to Please include a volunteer application and a cover letter. Link to application is at the bottom of this page.

Teach Chess, Knitting  or Crocheting

Volunteers are needed to teach chess to teens on Wednesdays at 4:30pm at our Hunt's Point Library in the Bronx. Please email with Chess in the subject line and include an application and cover letter. Application must include references that are not relatives. Volunteers are needed to teach knitting or crocheting at our Baychester Library in the Bronx. Please email an application to and include knit or crochet 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.

  • 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

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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