Please call the Volunteer Services information line at 206-386-4664 to learn about our current volunteer openings. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old for most of the following positions. Download a Volunteer Application for Adults
The Library does not place people who have court-ordered community service as volunteers. Contact the United Way of King County to learn about agencies that provide short-term volunteer opportunities.
Assist adult basic education and English language learners with developing reading, writing and basic math skills at the Central Library. Activities are focused on short-term learning goals. Tutors must be well-rounded academically and have strong English and/or mathematics skills. They also must be comfortable working independently with learners and have considerable patience and flexibility. Tutors are scheduled from 4:20 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Monday or Wednesday for at least six months.
Book Group Facilitator
Help Library staff coordinate a book discussion group at a branch. The volunteer may help the group select titles and research authors, develop questions and facilitate book discussions. A six-month commitment is requested.
Branch or Department Support Volunteer
Assist Library staff with clerical tasks, hosting special events and packing donated books for the Friends of the Library's book sales. Volunteers assist staff for one to four hours per week. A three-month commitment is requested.
Computer Instruction Assistant
The Library offers classes for adults to learn computer skills, including how to use the Internet and email. Volunteers help staff instructors by providing individual assistance for students during classes. Volunteers may be assigned to the Central Library or branches for at least six months.
ESL Classroom Assistant
Ten-week English classes are offered at Library branches and offsite locations, including schools and community agencies. Volunteers assist instructors with providing learning activities for English language learners, individually or in groups.
Welcome and usher patrons at events sponsored by the Library and the Washington Center for the Book. Events include author readings, film screenings, cultural programs, the Global Reading Challenge for elementary school students and other events for children. Most of the events take place at the Central Library.
Friends of The Seattle Public Library
The Friends of The Seattle Public Library is a community-based nonprofit group that supports special programs, fundraising and advocacy on behalf of the Library. The FriendShop at the Central Library is a retail space that sells greeting cards, jewelry, gifts and stationery. The shop seeks volunteers who enjoy working with people and have retail experience. Volunteers also are needed at the Friends' book sales. For more information, please go to http://friendsofspl.org/.
Help the Library maintain attractive grounds. Teams of volunteers weed gardens, rake leaves and pick up litter at branches, April through October. You can volunteer for gardening projects from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays or help with a one-time project. Adults and high school students 15 and older are welcome.
September through June, volunteers help K-12 students with homework assignments and developing literacy and math skills at the Beacon Hill, Broadview, Columbia, Delridge, Douglass-Truth, High Point, Lake City, NewHolly, Northgate, Rainier Beach and South Park branches. Volunteers assist students once a week when the Seattle Public Schools are in session. Desired qualifications include completion of at least one year of college or vocational school, strong English and/or mathematics skills, and experience with youth. Volunteers must be comfortable assisting K-12 students of all ages in small groups and individually on a drop-in basis. Site interviews take place in July and August (and as needed during the year).
Simple Mending Volunteer
Help Library staff keep the collections clean and attractive. Volunteers replace book jackets, tape torn pages, replace spine labels, repair minor spine damage and clean materials. Volunteers are assigned to the Central Library or a branch for at least four months.
Story Time Assistant
Help children's librarians provide a fun and enjoyable environment for Story Time participants at Library branches. Assist with room set-up and clean-up, welcoming families, crafts and singing songs with children. Attendance at Story Time varies; volunteers must be comfortable interacting with young children in small and large groups. Volunteers must be available weekday mornings. A four-month commitment is requested.
Talk Time Facilitator
The Talk Time program enables immigrants and refugees opportunities to practice conversational English. Volunteers work as a team to plan and facilitate small group discussions on various topics. Talk Time sessions take place at the Central Library and the Beacon Hill and Lake City branches. A six-month commitment is requested.
Welcome Desk Volunteer
Welcome Desk volunteers introduce patrons and visitors to the Central Library's services, events and classes, and provide information about downtown Seattle. Desired qualifications include excellent public service and communication skills, familiarity with the Library and Seattle, flexibility and an ability to interact with people from all walks of life. A six-month commitment is requested. The monthly time commitment is negotiable.
Learn about other volunteer opportunities in the Seattle area: