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.

The San Francisco Public Library system provides free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community.  Library volunteers support, supplement, and enrich the Library’s efforts to serve San Francisco’s diverse community in each of its 28 locations.


Youth Volunteers

Information about our summer youth volunteering program can be found on the Teen site: Jobs & Volunteer Opportunities | Teens at SFPL ( 

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

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

Some 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 are not sure in what role you would like to serve, please fill out a General Adult Volunteer Interest Form. Our Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator will review your interests and then contact you when a match is 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 the City HR office at no cost to the volunteer). 
  • 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