Globe on open book

Volunteer Services


100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States


Current Volunteers: 


Welcome & Overview

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with your Library.

San Francisco Public Library envisions a democratic, equitable and vibrant San Francisco for everyone. The Library's mission is to connect our diverse communities to learning, opportunities, and each other. We value well-being, community, equity, collaboration, and exploration. 

Our volunteers play a central role in realizing this vision, this mission, and these values. 


Youth Volunteers

The Summer Youth Volunteer program is now full and applications are closed for this year. Please check back in April 2025 for next year's applications. 

During the school year, if you are a youth (under age 18, or 18 and still in high school) interested in volunteering at a particular location, please call or go to that location to set up a time to discuss any available opportunities with a librarian. If the library has an open opportunity to offer you, the librarian will create a schedule with you and ask you to complete the following:

  • a youth interest form with your contact information, skills, and interests
  • a youth volunteer agreement that your parent or guardian must sign, agreeing to your volunteer service and schedule


FOG Readers also accepts volunteers aged 15 and up. This program requires:

  • a minimum of a 6-month commitment to meeting once a week, every week (except holidays & when sick, of course) with your elementary school student
  • weekly meetings usually last 1-1.5 hours
  • approximately 8 hours of training
  • about 1 hour of preparation time before each weekly meeting
  • fingerprinting for a background check, which requires a SSN

To apply, please fill out the FOG Readers Volunteer Tutor Interest Form.

Additional information for youth volunteers may be found at The Mix’s Jobs & Volunteer Opportunities page.


Adult Volunteers

The Library's core areas of volunteer service include:

  • supporting youth learning (currently limited to FOG Readers Tutor positions)
  • fostering English language fluency and literacy (Project Read Tutor; ESL Tutor) and
  • bridging the digital divide (Tech Tutor, currently limited to the Main Library)

In addition, volunteers may provide event support for programs, open houses, and cultural celebrations, or assist with special projects.

The first step to volunteering with the Library is to submit a volunteer interest form to each of the areas that interest you: (Please note, some of these forms have several parts. Clicking "submit" will advance you to the next section.)

To apply to teach a class, lead an activity, or provide other programming, please see our Exhibitions & Program page for a presenter proposal form or email for more information.

If you would like to volunteer at a neighborhood library, please speak to staff at that location.  You may also fill out a General Adult Volunteer Interest Form. The Volunteer Coordinator will contact you if a match becomes available.

Some important details to keep in mind:

  • Volunteers cannot perform tasks assigned to Library staff, such as shelving books or leading storytimes.
  • For ongoing volunteer positions, a minimum commitment of two hours per week for at least six months is requested.
  • Volunteers who will serve with vulnerable populations first must pass a background check. (Fingerprints are taken at City Hall at no cost to the volunteer, and a SSN is required). 
  • There may be a waiting period before an opening is available for a requested role, location, and time. Please check your schedule against location open hours to find a convenient location with compatible hours.
  • Our ability to accommodate groups for one-time “day of service” events is very limited, but we're happy to discuss possibilities. Three to six months notice allows optimal time for planning and publicity.


Other Resources

  • If you are looking for a one-time or short-term volunteer opportunity, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library often needs volunteers to assist with its book sales or book donation warehouse operations.
  • lists a wide array of volunteer opportunities throughout the Bay Area.
  • The SF-Marin Foodbank is often in need of volunteers for shifts that can be quickly scheduled on-line.
  • CTN (Community Tech Network) needs volunteers to serve as Digital Coaches, teaching older adults to use the internet. 

(415) 557-4251
San Francisco Public Library
Community Programs & Partnerships
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102