Volunteering

As branches are opening and settling into their new routines they will each determine when volunteers may safely return. If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities for you or a group, please contact us or call the Library’s Support Programs & Volunteer Resources Office at 317-275-4046.

Volunteering

Current Volunteer Opportunities

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

College Avenue, 4180 N. College Avenue

Glendale, 6101 N. Keystone Avenue

Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street

Bunny Book Bags and more – Returned canvas Bunny Book Bag contents needs to be counted, inspected, cleaned, and restocked. A large order of new books is coming in soon and will need ID stickers added. This activity is with the Outreach team at the Library Services Center, 2450 N. Meridian Street. Three to four hour shifts, weekly, can be scheduled Monday – Friday, 8:30a to 4:30p. This activity would be great for someone who likes to listen to books, podcasts, or music on their headphones OR for a couple of friends/family members (minimum age 14). There’s plenty of room for social distancing (though masks are always required while in Library facilities).

Property Clean-up- Wayne Branch has recently undergone a complete renovation. Let’s make the outside look as great! A volunteer team of up to 25, is needed to clear underbrush, remove trash, and spruce up the property. There might even be a bit of creek stompin’. Contact us for more details and to talk about a date in the fall.

Library Cards for IPS & Washington Township School youth – We continue toward our goal to provide library cards for ALL students in Marion County. The recently signed contracts with IPS and Washington Township have increased the workload to get parent letters, student cards and classroom packets assembled. We’re looking for teams, families (min age 14) or individuals that would like to be part of this initiative. We can schedule Monday – Friday 8:30a to 4:30p at the Library Services Center, 2450 N. Meridian Street. There’s plenty of room for social distancing in the conference room (though masks are always required while in Library facilities).

Behind the Scenes at the Library Services Center – The Collection Management team has asked for help re-boxing CD protective cases and labeling/moving the Holiday Collection. This is project requires lots of bending, standing and light lifting (25-20 lbs.). A maximum of 4 volunteers at a time can schedule Monday – Friday 8:30a to 4:30p at the Library Services Center, 2450 N. Meridian Street. There’s plenty of room for social distancing (though masks are always required while in Library facilities).


What specific volunteering opportunities are there today?

At this time the Library is slowly reintroducing in-person volunteers in our physical facilities. For our existing volunteers, please wait to hear from your branch volunteer coordinator or Volunteer Resources before returning to service. For those interested in volunteering with IndyPL, please contact us for details regarding your preferred branch and opportunities. All volunteers will be asked to review COVID-19 Volunteer Safety Precautions before their first shift. Thank you for your understanding.

How do I get started?

Support Programs & Volunteer Resources will be your first point of contact while the Library is cautiously planning in light of the COVID 19 virus. 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. We may mutually discover that a placement is not a good fit.

What do I need to complete the application paperwork?
  • Driver's License/State ID
  • Social Security number (if over age 18) for the Background Check Release (Your number will be destroyed after the check is completed.)
  • 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?

At this time we are evaluating projects and activities for families and groups as they arise. Our space is limited and we are committed to providing an environment that follows social distancing guidelines for everyone involved: volunteers, patrons, public, and staff.

If you would like to be notified when we begin to routinly accept volunteer teams, 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?

Not at this time. We would suggest that you look for virtual opportunities that are able to track your service hours. Review our blog on Virtual Volunteering for suggestions and resources.

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?

This opportunity is on hold at this time. 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. Since volunteers will be providing their own transportation, proof of driver’s license and auto insurance is 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 Support Program & Volunteer Resources

Interested in learning more about volunteering?

We want to hear from you!

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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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