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Volunteer At NYPL

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Community Oral History Projects

The New York Public Library's Community Oral History Project is an initiative taking place throughout the NYPL system that aims to document, celebrate, and make accessible the rich history of the city's unique neighborhoods by collecting the stories of people who have experienced it firsthand.

As the project moves into fall 2016, we’ll be documenting stories in Kips Bay and the Lower East Side. We’re looking for volunteers to fill a new leadership role in this program and help build local collection efforts. 

Learn more about how to become a Volunteer Neighborhood Leader.

Event Volunteers

Event at the Celeste Bartos Forum

Volunteers are needed in the Bronx and Manhattan to assist at various locations throughout the year at events such as Summer Reading Parties, Author Lectures, Musical Performances and more. All event volunteers must go through Child Safety Training (even if you only work at adult events). Hours are flexible but are mostly afternoons, evenings and Saturdays. Please email volunteer@nypl.org with "Event" in the subject line.

Other Opportunities

  • Washington Heights Library is looking for adults/college students who are willing to share the twists and turns their career/college paths have taken. Volunteers should be prepared to speak with a variety of teens in a one hour (or more) question-and-answer program scheduled at the volunteer's and library branch's convenience.  Participants must agree to be brutally honest in their answers. Please email volunteer@nypl.org with Brutal Q & A in the subject line.
  • Inwood Library: Spanish speaking  volunteers are needed to help with computer classes on Wednesdays at 11 AM.
  • Bronx Library Center: Tech-savvy volunteers are needed to help visitors log in and reserve computer appointments. Please email volunteer@nypl.org.
  •  Hunts Point and Mott Haven: Chess tutors are needed for kids and teens, afternoons or Saturdays. Please email volunteer@nypl.org with "Chess" in the subject line.
  • Muhlenberg Library: Volunteer needed to teach knitting on Thursdays or Fridays from 12-1PM. Please email volunteer@nypl.org with "Knitting" in the subject line. 
    Volunteers at the Outdoor Summer Reading Room
  • Wakefield Library needs volunteers to teach crochet and volunteers to help with shelving books. Please email volunteer@nypl.org with "Wakefield" in the subject line. 
  • Clason's Point needs reliable volunteers to help with shelving and other tasks. They also need  volunteers willing to assist younger children with their homework on weekday afternoons. Please email volunteer@nypl.org with "Clason's Point" 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.

Get Involved

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Online Application

If you are interested in any of the above, please fill out an application 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. Please do not apply if you are under 14 years of age.

Teens wanting to volunteer or their parents may wish to read 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. It may take up to four weeks to respond to you. Please do not apply for positions that are not listed.