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Volunteering

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities for you or a group, please contact us or call the Library’s Volunteer Resources Office at 317-275-4046.

Volunteering

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Current Volunteer Opportunities

Naturalization Ceremony Support
Welcome the country’s newest citizens at Central Library as they complete the final step toward naturalization – the swearing-in ceremony. The Library, in collaboration with US Citizenship and Immigration, will host several monthly services. We’re seeking 6-10 volunteers to greet and direct guests each morning and afternoon. To see the specific dates, times, and sign-up click here.

Youth Programs and Activities
Do you love seeing young readers get excited during storytime and crafts? How about a challenging game of chess or a lively Uno match with a teen? If the answer is “yes” then we need your help for a few hours a week. Help staff prepare activities, take attendance, setup/cleanup, and help youth sing, dance, and play (and even their parents). Adult volunteer (age 18+).

  • College Avenue
    Baby/Toddler: Wednesday, 10-11 a.m.
  • College Avenue
    Preschool, Tuesday, 10-11 a.m.
  • East 38th Street
    Preschool: 1st and 3rd Tuesday, 10 a.m.-Noon
  • Franklin Road
    Babies: Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Franklin Road
    Toddlers: Wednesday, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Franklin Road
    Preschool: Thursday, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Irvington
    Teens: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 4 p.m., Wednesday, 3 p.m., and Friday, 3:30 p.m.
  • Irvington
    Babies/Toddlers: Wednesdays, 10:30-11:15 a.m.
  • Irvington
    Teens: Monday through Friday, 3-5 p.m.
  • Lawrence
    Babies & Toddlers: Thursday, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Lawrence
    Preschool: Wednesday, 10:30-11 a.m.
  • The Learning Curve @ Central Library
    Tweens: Sunday, 2:30-4:15 p.m.
  • Michigan Road
    Baby/Toddler/Preschool: Tuesday and Thursday, 10:15-11:15 a.m.
  • Pike
    Preschool: Wednesday, 10:30-11:15 a.m
  • Pike
    Teens: Monday through Friday, 2-5 p.m. (Monday – Art, Thursday – Nintendo Switch)
  • Warren
    Teen Color Me Calm: 1 time a month, Tuesday, 3-5 p.m.
  • Wayne
    Baby/Toddler: Thursday, 11-11:30 a.m.
  • Wayne
    Spanish & English Storytime: Tuesday, 10:30-11 a.m.
  • West Perry
    Babies/Toddlers: Thursday, 10:30-11 a.m.
  • West Perry
    Preschool: Wednesday, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Collection Support
Primarily pulling books that patrons have placed on hold. 2-3 hours a week, usually in the morning.

  • Central Library Monday - Saturday mornings
  • Central Library The Learning Curve: Monday – Friday, morning
  • Eagle Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Lawrence Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning
  • Michigan Road Monday – Friday, morning or afternoon
  • Pike Wednesday and Thursday, morning
  • Warren Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, morning
  • West Perry Thursday and Friday, flexible times

Behind the Scenes
Have you ever wondered how the amazing (and free) programs offered in the library are created? Author lectures, Summer Reading Program, Yoga in the Garden, the Concert Series, and many more are the responsibility of our Program Development team. Help this creative and dynamic team with day-to-day activities and get an insider view of how it comes together. This weekly opportunity is for teens (age 16+) or adults for 3-4 hours during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Some activities require lifting (20 lbs. max).

Administrative Support – Social Work
The Indianapolis Public Library has concern for all visitors to our branches. Therefore, a social worker (MSW) was added to our staff in 2021. The Library Social Worker is creating a team of staff and community members to provide patrons a connection to community services and resources, offer staff mental health training, and support patrons and staff alike with conflict resolution. Come be part of the team with your organizational and clerical skills! One day a week, 3-4 hours during open hours at Central Library.

Administrative Support – Volunteer & Internship Engagement
IndyPL is proud to have engaged over 600 volunteers for more than 12,500 hours in 2021 (during COVID). We understand the value of connecting our community members to meaningful volunteer opportunities that lead to fulfilling our mission to promote lifelong learning. As the restrictions for COVID are being lifted we’re seeing more interest in volunteering. That’s great! However, our small but mighty, team needs help to provide quality customer service. Are you interested in learning about volunteer coordination? Or would you like to sort out paper files and convert them to digital ones? How about party planning? We have a wide range of projects to keep you on your toes. One day a week, 3-4 hours during open hours at Central Library.

Public Computer Support/Computer Training
Lend a helping hand to your fellow patrons using the public computers. Guide them through printing, faxing, creating an email account, searching the Internet, and basic computer skills. Do you have a knack for teaching technology? Team up with staff members to deliver and support classroom training.

Library Express
Volunteers deliver Library material approximately every 3 weeks to a patron who is homebound resulting in a 6-8 hour/month time commitment. The volunteer will frequently help with the material selection by getting to know their patron’s preferences and by working with Library staff. The volunteer interview, up to 90 minutes, is expanded to include training. Volunteers will need reliable transportation to make deliveries to the patron's home. If they are using their vehicle, proof of driver's license and auto insurance will be required at the time of the interview. We ask that Library Express volunteers commit to a minimum of one year of service. We are currently in need of support for patrons in these zip codes: 46219, 46237 and 46107. To learn more about this volunteer opportunity, please contact the Volunteer Resources office at 317-275-4046 or volunteer@indypl.org.

Can you help us identify Indy Parks history?
Last year, the Digital Indy archive team preserved and digitized thousands of Indy Parks and Recreation materials spanning over 100 years. We have over 1,500 photos that we still need help identifying. Can you or someone you know help us archive Indy's history by recognizing people, places, and events? Help identify photos here.

FAQ

How do I get started?

Contact Volunteer Resources or the volunteer coordinator at your branch to begin. We can share with you information about current volunteer opportunities and arrange for a volunteer interview.

Volunteer interviews are a casual conversation lasting a half hour to an hour. This time is used to meet the volunteer coordinator in the selected location, get to know each other, and to answer any questions about the opportunities available.

Volunteers will be asked to fill out a volunteer application and complete a background check release. Once the interview has been conducted and the paperwork completed, it can take a week to ten days to hear back from your volunteer coordinator.

We are focused on ensuring that a meaningful fit is achieved for the volunteer and library needs.

What do I need to complete the application paperwork?
  • Parental Permission (if candidate is under 18)
  • Contact information for two references
  • Calendar
What is the volunteer age requirement?

Volunteers age 14 and up may volunteer on their own. Some events or opportunities may require adult volunteers, age 18 or 21. Posted opportunities will designate the age requirement. A volunteer as young as age 6 can participate alongside a parent or guardian for Family volunteer activities.

What is the volunteer time commitment?

On-going volunteers are asked to commit to at least one shift (2-4 hours) a week for at least six months. Short-term volunteers commit to less than 10 hours and usually complete this in two or three shifts.

How is a volunteer schedule determined?

Volunteers are placed and scheduled based on the needs of the Library. Scheduling will be discussed prior to and/or during the volunteer interview.

Can I volunteer in the evening or weekend?

At times there are a few volunteer shifts that occur in the evening or weekend. Discuss your desire for these time-frames with Volunteer Resource or your branch volunteer coordinator. Off-site opportunities that can be completed on your own schedule at home or on-line may also be available.

Can I volunteer as a family or group?

Yes! If you would like to schedule an activity or be notified when we have opportunities for families or groups, please contact us.

Can I help the Library remotely from my smart phone or computer?

Please contact us for information about current projects that can be completed at home. Our blog on Virtual Volunteering has many suggestions and resources for your review.

Can I volunteer at the Library for academic community service or service learning hours?

Yes! Many of our branches are able to accept volunteers who need as few as 4 service hours. Contact us for details.

Does The Library offer Internships or Shadowing opportunities?

At this time these opportunities are on hold.

What type of training is provided?

Training for specific roles is provided by the lead staff member.

Is there a cost associated with volunteering?

No. The Indianapolis Public Library incurs the expense to interview, screen, and train volunteers. We provide the materials needed for group projects.

What is a Library Express volunteer?

Library Express volunteers deliver Library material approximately every 3 weeks to a patron who is homebound resulting in a 3-5 hour/month time commitment. The volunteer will frequently help with the material selection by getting to know their patron’s preferences and by working with Library staff. The volunteer interview, up to 90 minutes, is expanded to include training. Volunteers will need reliable transportation to make deliveries to patron's homes. If they are using their own vehicle, proof of driver's license and auto insurance will be required at the time of the interview. We ask that Library Express volunteers commit to a minimum of one year of service.

How to learn more?

See current volunteer opportunities here

Submit a request for more information

Virtual volunteering resources, “Volunteer Virtually – Any Time, Anywhere!”

Call Volunteer Resources

Interested in learning more about volunteering?

We want to hear from you!

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Interested in learning more about volunteering?

Increase Your Impact

Many companies in our community have a matching gift program. Sometimes that includes volunteer time. Check with your employer to find out if you qualify for an employer matching program. For additional information about matching gifts, please contact The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

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Increase Your Impact