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 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.
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 individuals who are preparing for exams (such as the GED Test and U.S. Naturalization Test) with learning activities. Volunteers must be well-rounded academically and have strong English and mathematics skills. Tutors assist learners at the Central Library and the Broadview and Rainier Beach branches on a drop-in basis. 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 and facilitates book discussions, and assists the group with selecting and requesting books. 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 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 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. A six-month commitment is requested.
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 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/.
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 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 2016-2017 Homework Help service will be provided from Sept. 12, 2016 through June 15, 2017. 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 25 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. A limited number of mending volunteer opportunities are available. 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. 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. The monthly time commitment is negotiable.
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: