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November 29, 2015

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Support Your Library : Volunteer Opportunities for Adults

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Volunteer Opportunities for Adults

Computer instruction assistant helping a patron


Please call the Volunteer Services information line at 206-386-4664 to learn about current volunteer openings. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old for most of the following positions. Download a Volunteer Application for Adults PDF(Opens a new window)


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.


Adult Tutor

Provide tutoring and encouragement for adults who would like to improve their skills in reading comprehension, writing and basic mathematics. Tutors assist English language learners, adult basic education learners and learners who are preparing for exams (e.g. GED Test and U.S. Citizenship Test) with short-term learning activities. Volunteers must be well-rounded academically and have strong English and/or mathematics skills. Tutors assist learners at the Central Library and the Broadview and Douglass-Truth branches on a drop-in basis for at least six months.


Book Group Facilitator

Help Library staff coordinate a book discussion group at a branch or the Central Library. 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

Library staff teach computer skills classes at the Central Library and branches on weekdays. Instruction Assistants provide individual assistance for patrons during classes. Volunteers must be flexible, patient and supportive while assisting older adults, individuals with limited computer experience and English language learners. A six-month commitment is requested.


ESL Classroom Assistant

Ten-week English classes are offered at the Beacon Hill and Rainier Beach branches. Volunteers assist instructors with providing learning activities for English language learners. Activities are designed to help individuals develop speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. Volunteers are asked to make a commitment for the entire 10-week series.


Event Usher

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(Opens a new window) 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 a new window)


Gardening Assistant

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. 


Homework Helper

September through June, volunteers help K-12 students with homework assignments and developing literacy and math skills at the Beacon Hill, Broadview, Columbia, Douglass-Truth, High Point, Lake City, NewHolly, Northgate, Rainier Beach and South Park branches. Desired volunteer 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.


The 2015-2016 Homework Help service will be provided from Sept. 14, 2015 through June 16, 2016. Volunteers assist students once a week when the Seattle Public Schools are in session. A volunteer commitment throughout the school year is requested. Prospective volunteers are asked to submit their application forms by July 30 for the new school year's Homework Help service. Additional Homework Helpers will be placed when volunteer openings occur during the school 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.


Spanish Circle Facilitator

The Spanish Circle program provides intermediate- and advanced-level Spanish language learners with opportunities to enhance their conversational skills in a social setting at the Central Library. Volunteers work as a team to plan and facilitate small group discussions on various topics. They enable participants to feel comfortable speaking Spanish by creating a fun and supportive learning environment. Ideal facilitators are native Spanish speakers or individuals who have completed at least two years of college-level Spanish. Volunteers must be able to participate in the entire fall series: October 7 - December 2, 2015.


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 also 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: