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December 12, 2017

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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 our 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 is unable to provide short-term volunteer positions for individuals who are required to complete court-ordered community service. Contact local food banks and 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 develop skills in reading comprehension, conversational English, writing and basic mathematics. Tutors assist English language learners, adult basic education learners, job seekers and individuals who are preparing for the GED and U.S. Naturalization tests with learning activities. Desired volunteer qualifications include completion of at least one year of college, strong English and mathematics skills, and experience with ESL learners. Tutors assist learners at the Central Library and the Broadview and Rainier Beach branches. A six-month commitment is requested.


Book Group Facilitator

A book discussion group is a forum where readers can talk about books and their reading experiences. The Library sponsors book discussion groups that meet in the Central Library and branches once a month. Volunteer facilitators collaborate with librarians or other designated staff to support these groups. The volunteer researches authors, prepares questions to stimulate discussion at meetings, welcomes patrons, facilitates book discussions and assists the group with selecting books. A six-month commitment is requested.


Computer Instruction Assistant

Library staff instructors offer computer skills classes at the Central Library and branches on weekdays. Instruction Assistants provide 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 Central Library and the Beacon Hill, Northgate and South Park 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. A six-month commitment is requested.


Event Usher

Welcome and usher patrons at events sponsored by the Central 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. A three-month commitment is requested.


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.


Homework Helper

September through June, volunteers help K-12 students with homework assignments and developing literacy and mathematics skills at the Beacon Hill, Broadview, Columbia, Douglass-Truth, Greenwood, High Point, Lake City, NewHolly, Northgate, Rainier Beach and South Park branches. Desired volunteer qualifications include completion of at least one year of college, strong English and mathematics skills, and experience with youth. Volunteers must be comfortable assisting K-12 students of all ages in small groups and individually. The 2017-2018 Homework Help program will be offered from Sept. 11, 2017 through June 14, 2018. Volunteers mentor 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 20 for the new school year's Homework Help service. Additional Homework Helpers will be placed when volunteer openings occur during the school year.


Library Support Volunteer

Adult volunteers assist staff with providing a welcoming environment for patrons at the Library's events. Volunteers also provide operational support and help staff with maintaining attractive collections and displays. Volunteers are asked to assist staff at a Library branch or the Central Library for at least three months. The responsibilities of each volunteer will vary, depending on their interests, skills and availability.


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 and individuals who are fluent in Spanish. A six-month commitment is requested.


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, singing songs with children and crafts. Attendance at Story Time varies; volunteers must be comfortable interacting with young children in small and large groups. Volunteers must be available weekday or Saturday 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.


Visitor Center Volunteer

Volunteer ambassadors welcome individuals to the Central Library and provide directional information about classes, events, exhibits and meetings in the library. They also offer tourist information, directions to downtown locations and referrals to the Seattle Visitor Center & Concierge Services. Desired volunteer qualifications include public service and communication skills, familiarity with the library and Seattle, flexibility and compassion for people from all walks of life. A six-month commitment is requested.


Young Adult Service Learner

The Library offers service learning volunteer opportunities for young adults (ages 18 - 26) at the Central Library and the Capitol Hill and University branches. Service learning enables volunteers to develop skills to succeed socially, academically and professionally. Young adults who are unemployed, experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, not enrolled in school and/or experiencing other barriers to opportunities are eligible to participate. Contact the Teen Services librarian at your local library for more information.


Learn about other volunteer opportunities in the Seattle area: