Skip to main content
teen volunteers

Volunteer with Austin Public Library

Volunteers are an integral part of our team and a valuable asset to the Library and Austin community. With volunteer positions to match most schedules and interests, the Austin Public Library is a highly rewarding place to donate your time and skills.

Volunteering with the Library includes a background check, attending volunteer orientation and a readiness for providing excellent customer service.

Adult Volunteer Program

Adult Volunteer Program link

Adults Apply Here

The Adult Volunteer Program is seeking motivated, highly flexible, diverse, customer service-ready volunteers who can't wait to be a part of the library experience. All library volunteer positions are customer service-oriented.

  1. Go to our Volunteer Opportunities tab to find an open volunteer opportunity that matches your skills and interests.
  2. Applicants must be 17 years or older by the date of the application.
  3. For the application process, APL has partnered with the volunteer website GivePulse. Please complete an application through the APL GivePulse site.
  4. If applicable, complete an additional Volunteer Accommodation Form.
  5. Complete the volunteer screening process, including interviews.
  6. Accept a placement offer.
    ** Please note: Not all interviews/applications result in a placement offer.**
  7. Attend mandatory volunteer orientation.
  8. Complete a successful criminal background investigation.
  9. Commit to volunteering for a minimum of three months at two hours per week. Some positions may request more. 
  10. Commit to regularly recording volunteer hours into the GivePulse database for tracking volunteer hours.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities link

Our most valued volunteer candidates are those that enjoy interacting with the general public and providing great customer service.

Please choose one or more of the available volunteer opportunities listed below. New opportunities are regularly posted to this page, so please check back if there is not currently an open opportunity that matches your skills and interests.

Don't see a volunteer position for you?

Please contact Volunteer Services Coordinator Paul Lopez at 512-974-7443 or APL.Volunteers@austintexas.gov and tell us what you want to do. We will see if this potential volunteer position supports the Austin Public Library commitment to our community.

Central Library Children's Room Greeter

Central Library Children's Room Greeter link

Want to make a difference in the busiest section of the Central Library? Do you have experience working with children? Come welcome families, help kids find books, answer basic questions, and help keep the Children's Room tidy. This is also a great job for buddies so grab a friend and apply together!

Current needs:

  • No opportunities at this time

Branch Circulation

Branch Circulation link

Our circulation volunteers help with all things circulation in our branches. This includes customer service, putting items back on shelves, pulling holds, tidying book shelves, and so much more. This position requires volunteers to push carts up to 75 pounds and to bend, stoop, and stretch with or without reasonable accommodations. The position is best suited for those who love to organize and like to work independently. Shifts are two hours with a minimum three month commitment required.

Current needs:

Hampton Branch | 5125 Convict Hill Rd.

  • Now accepting applications!

Howson Branch | 2500 Exposition Blvd.

  • Mondays - 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Menchaca Road Branch | 5500 Menchaca Rd.

  • Tuesday mornings

North Village Branch | 2505 Steck Ave.

  • Now accepting applications!

Twin Oaks Branch | 1800 S. 5th St.

  • Tuesdays - 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Fridays - 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

APL Innovation Lab Sound Engineering/Recording Intern

APL Innovation Lab Sound Engineering/Recording Intern link

Are you enrolled in a sound engineering/recording program at your college or university? The Central Library's Innovation Lab is looking for an intern to help with projects in their sound lab. This is meant to be a learning opportunity for those enrolled in school and looking to enter the sound field, so this internship is for actively enrolled students-only that are taking classes related to the field. Come check us out!

Current needs:

  • Now accepting applications!

Central Library Gift Shop Assistant

Central Library Gift Shop Assistant link

The Central Library's gift shop is looking for customer service-oriented volunteers, ideally with retail experience. Duties include greeting visitors, becoming knowledgeable on products offered, helping customers navigate the building and surrounding area, and completing the gift shop experience.

Current needs:

  • Fridays - 12:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Sundays - 2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (after June 16)

Recycled Reads Bookstore Assistant

Recycled Reads Bookstore Assistant link

5335 Burnet Road

Recycled Reads is Austin Public Library’s used bookstore. All proceeds benefit APL. Recycled Reads volunteers assist staff in sorting books and other materials for re-sale, repurposing, or recycling. Duties include unloading heavy boxes, checking materials for damage, sorting materials by subject and value, and shelving. This position requires volunteers to push carts up to 75 lbs. and to bend, stoop, and work with office equipment with or without reasonable accommodations, at times briefly outdoors. This position is best suited for customer service-ready, self-motivated, and detail oriented individuals accustomed to working in a fast-paced environment. Shifts are four hours long, with a minimum commitment of six months requested.

Current needs:

  • Tuesdays - 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesdays - 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.*, 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Thursdays - 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.*, 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.*
  • Fridays - 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.*

Chess or Dominos Club Facilitator

Chess or Dominos Club Facilitator link

We need chess or dominos lovers who want to help facilitate our Chess or Dominos Clubs! Set up, take down, explanation of rules, match partners, game monitoring, and all things chess/dominos.

Current needs:

Dominos Club at the Willie Mae Kirk Library | 3101 Oak Springs Dr.

  • Second and fourth Mondays of the month, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Board With Books Curator and Assistant

Board With Books Curator and Assistant link

Do you love playing board games? We need a volunteer to both curate our board game collection and assist with running our monthly Board With Books program. We have a wide range of modern and traditional board games that we want our customers to be able to enjoy fully.

Current needs:

Twin Oaks Library | 1800 S. 5th St.

  • Last Saturdays of the month - 12:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

Tech Experts Assistance

Tech Experts Assistance link

These volunteers hold "office hours" for drop-in computer and technology assistance or lead programs to help demonstrate how to use technology. This position offers support to our library customers with questions ranging from people brand new to technology to those interested in learning about cutting edge technology.

Current needs:

Central Library | 710 W. Cesar Chavez St.

  • 3D Printing Program Experts - program meet three times a month

ESL Talk Time the English language learning group

ESL Talk Time the English language learning group link

Talk Time is a program for English conversation practice with other English language learners and English speaking volunteers. Talk Time is not a formal English class, but rather a place for participants to fine-tune their English in a relaxed environment. Volunteers facilitate conversation to help and encourage participants to speak English in a safe and nonjudgmental environment.

Current needs:

No opportunities at this time.

Practiquemos Español the Spanish language learning group

Practiquemos Español the Spanish language learning group link

Volunteers plan and lead Spanish language conversational groups. Participants practice speaking Spanish in a safe, non-judgmental, and relaxed environment. This position requires a mastery of the Spanish language and a six month commitment. Native speakers preferred.

Current needs:

Spicewood Springs Library | 8637 Spicewood Springs Rd.

  • Tuesdays - 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Youth Library Crafts and Learning Materials Assistant

Youth Library Crafts and Learning Materials Assistant link

This volunteer position helps our Youth Librarians prep materials for children ages 18 months and up. 

Current needs:

Twin Oaks Library | 1800 S. Fifth St.

  • Tuesday afternoons/evenings or Wednesday-Saturday during the day

Central Library Marketing Team assistant

Central Library Marketing Team assistant link

Our marketing team at the Central Library is looking for a self-motivated, detail-oriented assistant to help with organizing their in-person materials and promotional items. This position has a decent amount of lifting and opening boxes. May also include some light clerical and computer duties.

Current needs:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays - 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Teen Volunteer Program

Teen Volunteer Program link

Summer Youth Volunteer Orientation is on Wednesday, May 29 for placed applicants.

Applications Accepted During the Following dates:
Fall (runs October - December) applications due between July 1-31
Spring (runs March - May) applications due between December 1-31
Summer (runs June - July) applications due between March 1-31

What does the Summer, Fall, and Spring Youth Volunteer Program look like?
Youth volunteers help staff in various duties around the library. Most youth volunteers traditionally assist the Youth Services librarians with circulation, programs, and/or program preparation. Duties may include:

  • program planning
  • preparing programming materials
  • program set-up and take down
  • supervising and assisting participants during programs
  • re-shelving books
  • running specialized clubs for teens
  • light clean up

Volunteer duties and positions will vary depending on the summer and the location. Applicants requesting a reasonable volunteer accommodation can request an Accommodation Request Form from the volunteer coordinator.

What are the program dates and time for Fall and Spring?
The program runs 10 weeks from either October - December (fall) or March - May (spring). Youth volunteers work a 2 hour shift, once per week and all positions are unpaid. Youth volunteers are traditionally placed during after school hours or on weekends. Additional placements may be available during weekday business hours (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM) if it does not interfere with school. Individual schedules will be determined by library needs, supervisor availability, and the youth’s availability. 

What are the program dates and time for Summer?
The summer program runs 8 weeks, June - July each summer. Youth volunteers work a 4 hour shift, once per week and all positions are unpaid. Individual schedules will be determined by supervisor availability, library needs, and the youth’s availability. Youth can be placed Monday through Sunday, 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM, depending on the volunteer role.

What are the program locations?
Many APL locations--although not all locations--will host an APL Youth Volunteer. Possible reasons why some locations will not be included are: the location is not taking on youth volunteers for that season, location closures for renovations, or the location is working with another youth placement program. 

In order to participate in this program, you must:

  1. Be 13 to 17 years old.
    Those 17 years of age are also eligible for the Adult Volunteer Program.
  2. Be no younger than 13 years of age and no older than 17 years of age by August 1 (fall), December 1 (spring) or May 1 (summer).
  3. Complete the online application when posted.
  4. Complete an additional Volunteer Accommodation Request Form if applicable. Request a form from APL.Volunteers@austintexas.gov.
  5. Be available for an interview with the Austin Public Library volunteer coordinator. 
  6. Accept a placement offer. **Please note: Not all applications result in a placement offer.**
  7. Complete a successful background check. This will include fingerprinting (ages 15 and older) for applicants that have lived outside the state of Texas in the last ten years. 
  8. Attend mandatory youth volunteer orientation.
  9. Commit to volunteering one 2 hour shift per week during the fall (October - December) or spring (March - May) program season. Commit to volunteering one 4 hour shift per week, during the summer program session (June - July).
  10. Commit to having no more than two absences during the program season.

How do I apply?
Applications will be posted at the top of this webpage during the application window for each session. Complete the online application.

What happens after I apply?
The volunteer coordinator will review applications and try to find a placement for as many applicants as possible.

When will I know whether I am accepted?
We typically receive more youth volunteer applications than we are able to find placement for. Acceptance emails will be sent telling applicants whether they have been accepted into the program. Applicants will have three business days to respond. After three business days Volunteer Services may rescind the offer in order to fill the placement with another qualified applicant. Completing an application does not guarantee a placement

Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact Volunteer Services Coordinator Paul Lopez at APL.Volunteers@austintexas.gov with any questions you may have. 

Community Service & Educational Opportunities

Community Service & Educational Opportunities link

Austin Public Library accepts volunteers looking to fulfill community service requirements, it's a lot of fun and highly rewarding! The volunteer approval process can take up to a month and you must meet the criteria listed below. In order to be considered for community service hours, applicants must: 

1. Be willing to complete a minimum of 24 community service hours (adults) or 12 hours (youth) for a minimum of three months-- at a Library location that has a current volunteer needs. Volunteers may not work more hours than is needed by their Library location in order to complete their service in less than three months.

2. Have a community service completion deadline that is at least 4 months in advance of your application submission.

3. Check out our current volunteer opportunities to see if there is a match for your skills and interests. APL does not have dedicated community service volunteer positions.

4. Go through the Adult Volunteer Application or Youth Volunteer Application process. Applicants will also need to sign a Volunteer Education and Community Service Acknowledgement Form during the orientation process, if selected to be a volunteer. Volunteer applications are only accepted for current volunteer opportunities. Submission of an application does not guarantee a volunteer placement.

5. Complete a successful criminal background investigation and APL volunteer orientation prior to starting your volunteer position. This process will include fingerprinting for those who have lived outside the state within the last seven years and are 15 years or older. This process may take an additional 14 to 21 business days if fingerprinting is needed.

The Austin Public Library does not accept court ordered community service requests for the following offenses: felonies, violent crime (felony or misdemeanor), crimes against children (felony or misdemeanor), or theft (felony or misdemeanor). The City of Austin Human Resources Department will review all other offenses.

Information on other organizations that accept community service volunteers can be found here.

Please contact Volunteer Services Coordinator Paul Lopez at 512-974-7443 (or Relay Texas 711) or APL.Volunteers@austintexas.gov with any questions you may have.

Current Library Volunteers

Current Library Volunteers link

Thank you for being a volunteer at the Austin Public Library!

Please remember to record your volunteer hours on GivePulse. This can be done during your volunteer shift.

All volunteers should have received a library volunteer t-shirt, lanyard, and name tag upon completion of orientation. If you inadvertently were not given one of these items, please reach out to Volunteer Services Coordinator Paul Lopez at 512-974-7443 APL.volunteers@austintexas.gov.

Contact
Volunteer Services Coordinator
Paul Lopez at 512-974-7443 (Relay Texas 711) or APL.Volunteers@austintexas.gov to learn more.