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Volunteer At NYPL


Current Opportunities

Tutors Needed for NYPL Bridge Up 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: January 2014 through June 2014: Monday-Thursday: 3:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.; Friday: 3:15 p.m.-5 p.m.
Students will be selected from the 8th grade, and remain a cohort through the 12th grade.

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 - Countee Cullen, 96th Street, Bronx Library Center, Belmont, and Allerton.

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

The Billy Rose Theatre Division Archive Assistant

The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is seeking a volunteer interested in gaining professional hands-on experience in archival management and processing, with an emphasis on performing arts and cultural heritage. This opportunity is designed for a volunteer to work with an experienced archivist and curator to acquire some of the core skills essential for establishing a career as an archivist.

About the Collection:

The Billy Rose Theatre Division was founded in 1931 and now holds more than 9 million items, including archival papers and records, photographs, scrapbooks, clippings, programs, reviews, posters and artwork, and 3-dimensional materials. Its collections illuminate virtually every type of performance, from street corner to stage to studio, and include drama and musical theatre, film, television, radio, and popular entertainment (circus, magic, vaudeville, puppetry).

Skills Development:

Assisting with collections care assessments and management

Assisting with catalog and finding aid maintenance

Processing and creating bibliographic records and finding aids for small archival collections, following national standards, including training in MARC, DACS, and EAD.

Professional Interactions/Development

Volunteer will work under the supervision of the Assistant Curator, BRTD and will have opportunities to interact with other professional staff in the Theatre Division. Volunteers may accompany the Archivist on site visits to appraise potential acquisitions, and will also be exposed to the public service side of the division by shadowing staff in the Special Collections Reading Room and the Reference Desk.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Preference for currently enrolled or recent graduates of an MLIS or equivalent program with a focus on archives/special collections
  • Preference for candidates who have completed an introductory archival course
  • Strong writing skills
  • Familiarity with archival cataloging and descriptive standards, including DACS and EAD, preferred.
  • Knowledge of performance or art history preferred.

Hours Requirements: 120 hours over 12 weeks

Schedule: 10 hours per week (All volunteers must commit to schedule at least four hours on one day; otherwise hours are flexible).

Working hours: Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Please respond to BRTD in the subject line. Please include both a Volunteer Application and a description of your skills related to this oppprtunity.

Do You Love Math & Reading?

Adult volunteers are needed at our Wakefield Library and our Parkchester Library weekdays, after school hours or Saturdays to help kids with their Math and Reading / Writing homework. If you enjoy working with kids and have some experience teaching or tutoring, please email with Morris Park or Parkchester in the subject line and include an application and a resume.

Knit & Crochet

Share your love of knitting or crocheting with others. Volunteers are needed to teach either craft to adults at our Jerome Park Library. Please email with knit or crochet in the subject line.

Shelf Help

Do you love to organize, alphabetize and put things in order?
Many locations need assistance with shelving books.

Please email with shelf help in the subject line.

Love Romance Novels or Movies? Mid-Manhattan Library needs help organizing these two collections.

Volunteer Online: Participatory Web Projects

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!

  • 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 and mail to: New York Public Library, Volunteer Office, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 476 Fifth Avenue, room 67 - VOL, New York, NY 10018.

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.

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