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

Current Volunteer Opportunities

To see all of our current sign-ups, please click here.

  • Naturalization Ceremony Support: Welcome the country’s newest citizens at Central Library as they complete the final step toward naturalization – the swearing-in ceremony. From June through December 2021 The Library, in collaboration with US Citizenship and Immigration, will host several monthly services. We’re seeking three volunteers to greet and direct guests each morning and afternoon. To see the specific dates, times, and sign-up click here.

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

Weekly Youth Programs: Do you love storytime and crafts with young readers? We’re searching for adult volunteers (age 18+) to support weekly storytimes once branches open for in-person programs in late summer/fall.

  • Lawrence Wednesday and Thursday, 10:00 am to Noon
  • Michigan Road Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00 am to 11:30 am
  • Pike
  • West Perry Wednesday, 10:30 am to 11:00 am; Thursday, 10:00 am to 11:30 am
  • Warren Thursdays from 10:15 am to 11:45 am

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 or adults during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:00. Some activities require lifting (20 lbs. max).

We need your green thumb! The East 38th Street Branch has an amazing collection of indoor plants. Come help them thrive. Set your own schedule. Drop by once or twice a week during library hours.

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.

Mural Artist: Use your creative energy to create and paint murals for the Warren Branch. If you’d like you can share your talents with the teen patrons. (They’d love to help, too.)

Calling all teens (14-17)! Are you looking for a way to complete your service hours or boost your college applications? Or maybe you’d like to support literacy efforts in your community. Consider connecting with your local library for a few hours a week. Branches looking for YOU:

West Perry Branch: This gorgeous new branch is adding volunteers to its team. Come play games (D&D, board games, cards) with youth, help with book clubs, work with the collection, support patrons with public computers, or assist with storytime. Let us know how you’d like to get involved!

Be a positive role model: Do you love a challenging game of chess or a lively Uno match? So do the teens visiting the library after school! Come hang out a day or two each week from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm and lend the staff a hand with teen programs & activities.

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 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 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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