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Due to severe weather, all NYPL locations will close at 5 pm on January 26 and will be closed on January 27. After-school programming is canceled on both days.

Volunteer At NYPL


Current Opportunities

Interested in helping immigrants in your local community?

Volunteers needed to teach Financial Literacy Education

Learn new skills and help make a difference —register for a rewarding volunteer opportunity and help support a new NYPL initiative: Money Matters in Spanish , Mandarin and Cantonese. Many immigrants, especially those from non-English speaking backgrounds, face a unique set of financial barriers as they settle into their new life. Opening a bank account, understanding credit and budgeting for the future are often not well understood. Yet a basic understanding of how personal finance works can be the difference between living in poverty and finding a way out. You can help by helping us provide basic financial literacy skills and knowledge through our program called Money Matters.

Basic financial literacy training and information about personal banking, how to budget and make the most of a limited income, avoiding debt and establishing a healthy credit score is already provided through our local library system. In an exciting new initiative, we plan to add to this program by offering free 1:1 financial counseling in Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Would you like to help us make a difference? Volunteers are currently being recruited to help support this program. You do not need to have a financial industry background (expert training and information will be provided). We are looking for people from a wide range of backgrounds, and most importantly for people with great communication and interpersonal skills who care about helping others. Must be fluent in Spanish, Mandarin or Cantonese.

A special 45 hour training package has been developed to help equip each volunteer with an understanding of the fundamentals of managing personal finances and the skills to properly conduct a financial counseling session with people from any background. There is no cost for the training and it is a prerequisite to becoming an NYPL Financial Literacy Volunteer.

A number of different training options are available and those who satisfactorily complete the training will receive either a completion certificate from the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs or 3 undergraduate credits which count toward a Financial Studies certificate from CUNY’s School of Professional Studies.

Training is provided free of charge and current training options are listed below. In return, volunteers are asked to make a 12 month commitment and must provide no less than 8 volunteer hours a month at a local NYPL branch library.

If you meet the requirements below, please apply!

  • can commit to completing the Volunteer Training
  • fluent in Spanish or Cantonese
  • can make a 12 month commitment

Current training options:

Undergraduate Credits/ CUNY School of Professional Studies & NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Certificate: Course starts in January 2015

NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Certificate: Weeknights - 11 November 2014 - 22 January 2015, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5.30pm-8.30pm

or Two week intensive class - Nov.3 - 14, 2014, 9:30am - 3:30pm

If you would like to register your interest in volunteering for this new and very exciting program, please email the following information to with “Money Matters” in the subject line. Please include a volunteer application available below, a cover letter and a resume including two references who are not family members.

Mentor a Middle Schooler

The Out of School Time division seeks enthusiastic individuals to provide individual mentorship and academic assistance to middle school children in our “Innovation Labs” program for grades 6 through 8.  The middle school Innovation Labs programs are semester-long after-school enrichment programs at Westchester Square Library  or West Farms in the Bronx, or George Bruce Library in upper Manhattan.  Innovation Labs seeks to aid students in their development of 21st century skills, adolescent identity, and voice by providing a variety of digital and non-digital project-based learning opportunities in a uniquely informal environment, while also offering personal mentorship and homework help from dedicated staff.  Read more.

Information Desk Volunteers

Volunteers are needed at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building to assist at Information Desks throughout the building. Greet visitors, offer directions and referrals to proper departments, explain how to use audio guides. Mention events, classes, building and exhibition tours and also act as an ambassador for the library and for New York City.  Interact with visitors of all ages. Customer service experience helpful but not necessary. Knowledge of a foreign language also helpful. Various schedules; morning, afternoon or evening.  Must be computer literate. Email

Tutors Needed For BridgeUp Program

NYPL BridgeUp is one of the New York Public Library's newest initiative to support NYC youth. NYPL BridgeUp aspires to build a supportive network of students from underserved communities through developing cohorts of high school graduates who are prepared to thrive in college and career. To accomplish this, the Program is creating a network of safe spaces within local branches, in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan, that allow students to come together to develop their individual passions and creativity, while helping them succeed both academically and socially. A major part of this initiative is providing students with daily access to homework help and tutoring services that will strengthen their academic skills.

Program Schedule: September 2104 through June 2015,: Monday-Thursday: 3:15pm-6:15pm; Friday: 3:15pm-5pm Students will be selected from the 8th grade, and remain a cohort through the 12th grade. Volunteers are asked to commit to one day each week and come once a week through the school year.

In its first year, NYPL BridgeUp will serve as the primary OST base for 50 students (10 students in each of five sites) whose academic potential and social development have been limited due to a lack of resources, opportunities, and/or guidance. During program hours, students will receive homework help, tutoring services, guided time for group creative work, and life/study/college prep skills groups.

NYPL BridgeUp is looking for volunteers who can commit to providing at least 4 hours a week for the duration of the program schedule (cited above) in one of five community branches. We currently have openings at four locations:

  • Belmont could use help with literacy skills on Monday through Thursday afternoons from 3:45pm to 5:15pm.
  • Allerton needs a tutor to help two students with homework on Tuesday to Thursday afternoons from 3:15pm - 5:15pm.
  • General daily assistance is needed at our Bronx Library Center and our Countee Cullen libraries working with the students in the program and assisting the lead teaching fellows.

Volunteers will assist BridgeUp staff with:

  • Daily program activities (i.e., charging laptops, making copies, organizing supplies, serving snacks to students, and putting away materials)
  • Providing homework help

We are looking for volunteers who have an interest in youth development and knowledge of NYC DOE curriculum and college prep activities. Please respond with Bridge Up in the subject line to Please include a resume. Please include an NYPL Volunteer Application.

Shelving Help Needed

Volunteers are needed for various duties such as helping with shelving at our Throg's Neck library in the Bronx on Wednesday mornings and at our Grand Central library in midtiwn Manhattan during morning hours also.  Please respond with Throg's Neck or Grand Central in the subject line to Please include a volunteer application and a cover letter. Link to applications is at the bottom of this page.

Teach Chess

Volunteers are needed to teach chess to teens on Wednesdays at 4:30pm at our Hunt's Point Library in the Bronx. Please email with Chess in the subject line and include an application and cover letter. Application must include references that are not relatives.

Online Volunteers

Collaborate with NYPL to build the library of the future! We're doing this with the help of volunteers. We're exploring new and fun ways of improving access to rare and unique collections online. These are projects you can work on anytime, anywhere with an internet connection. We have two active initiatives now. More are on the way! No need to fill out an application. Get started immediately by following the links below.

  • What's on the Menu? - Help transcribe our famous restaurant menu collection to make it more searchable.
  • Map Warper - Help transform historical street maps into an interactive digital atlas.

Getting Involved

If you are interested in any of the above please fill out an application (PDF) and mail to:

New York Public Library, Volunteer Office, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Avenue, Room 67 - VOL
New York, NY 10018.

You may also email your application to

Please do not apply for a library that is not mentioned in any of the current opportunities. Please do not apply if you are unable to make a once a week commitment for at least six months.

Teens wanting to volunteer or their parents may enjoy reading the following article, Kids and Community Service.

Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to all. If your qualifications match with our current needs, we will contact you. Please do not apply for positions that are not listed.

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