Flexibility: Medium

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: Libraries live on! But their funding is such that volunteers are needed for shelving, checking out books, IT, fundraising and much more.

Amava Take: We’ll just borrow from young prophet Arthur Read (is that last name an accident? We think not!), the strangely human-boy-like aardvark from Marc Brown’s books and public television series on this one: having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card. Who wouldn’t want to volunteer their time and skills at a public library? Libraries rule!

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?

We need people who love reading and who enjoy helping others connect with books and ideas.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

It never hurts to stay up-to-date on book reviews.

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

Generally, volunteers will work discrete shifts.

From the Trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

Books of course! Just being around them!

How would you describe the hard parts?

When everyone wants to read the same book and the waitlist is long. Or when we don’t have that one archived something that a student or researcher is looking for. But we can usually locate things!

Favorite book ever?

Don Quixote de la Mancha.

Special Requirements: Requirements vary and some libraries hold volunteer trainings. The main thing is that you love books, like kids and care about your community. If you will be working with kids, you may be asked to do a background check in accordance with the policies of the library and municipality.

Finding a Position: Checking the website of your local library is the most efficient way to connect with volunteer opportunities. Here are some cool library volunteer roles you might ask about. Most public libraries have a volunteer page like this one. Another place to look is your local public school district. Most schools have libraries and many utilize volunteers, particularly at the K-5 level. Try to get in touch with the school librarian at the school you are interested in, or someone at the PTA/PTO, because often volunteers will run the school library volunteer program.