Volunteer at the Library
The Oakland Public Library thrives because of its many volunteers, who do everything from serving as computer docents to reading to preschool children.
If you are interested in joining our group of dedicated volunteers - thank you! Please review the list of opportunities below and follow the instructions to apply as indicated. Please note that volunteers should be at least 18 years old unless otherwise noted.
If you'd like some help in choosing a volunteer opportunity, please contact Sara DuBois, Coordinator, Grants & Volunteers, at (510) 238-6572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that some of these programs may have a full complement of volunteers at this time. For more information, or to put your name on a list of interested library volunteers, please contact Sara DuBois, Coordinator, Grants & Volunteers, at (510) 238-6572 or email@example.com
Summer Lunch Volunteer
We are looking for a lot of great people who are willing to commit to volunteering at least 4 times over the summer to feed kids on dates of your choosing. Volunteer shifts are 1.5 hours long and will occur sometime between 11:45 am and 1:45 pm (depending on the site), Monday through Friday. Summer Lunch will run from mid-June to mid-August. Your duties will include: setup and cleanup, serving lunches and monitoring children while they are eating, and counting lunches. A mandatory one-hour orientation is required of all new volunteers. These orientations will happen the first few weeks of June during the lunch hour. Contact Cat Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Summer Lunch Volunteer Site Coordinator
The Site Coordinator is a volunteer who is committed to showing up at a library for an entire week to ensure continuity of service to children as Library staff and summer volunteers will change on a daily basis. We ask that a site coordinator commit to doing two weeks or more (separately or in conjunction) over the course of the summer. In addition to having the same duties as other volunteers, Site Coordinators will also be responsible for leading the other volunteers, placing the lunch orders, and ensuring all paperwork is completed correctly. As the head volunteer, they will receive additional training and must attend a separate and mandatory 30 minute training for Site Coordinators. Since you are there every day for a full week, you will get to know the children at your library very well. Contact Cat Burton at email@example.com if you are interested.
The African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO) is dedicated to the discovery, preservation, interpretation, and sharing of historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and the West for present and future generations. Call (510) 637-0200 to find out how you can help support AAMLO and its mission.
Adopt A Spot volunteer
Through the Oakland Adopt A Spot program, the City of Oakland Public Works Agency provides a unique opportunity for individuals (of all ages) and groups to play an active and ongoing role in cleaning, greening and beautifying parks, creeks, streets, and other public spaces - including libraries!
Public Works provides adopters with tools (on loan), debris pickup and technical assistance. Please note that a one-year commitment is required for this program. Review the Adopt a Spot Program Packet for an application and more detailed information. You can also contact an Adopt a Spot coordinator by phone at (510) 238-7630 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adult Literacy Tutor
Since 1984, Second Start volunteers have provided vital tutoring services to adults who want to improve their basic reading and writing skills. The program matches volunteer tutors one-to-one with adult literacy students.
Tutors and students meet at libraries all over Oakland at times that are convenient for both the student and the tutor. Tutoring pairs focus on students' learning goals, and in the process, they make a wonderful difference in families, work places, and communities throughout Oakland.
Please note that 15 hours of training and a 6-month commitment are required for this program. Call Second Start at (510) 238-3432 or access the application online.
Friends of the Oakland Public Library (FOPL) operates a used bookstore in Old Oakland. FOPL uses the money it raises through book sales and member donations to support library programs. FOPL welcomes donations of used books, volunteers to staff the bookstore, and new members. Please note that training and a 6-month commitment are required for bookstore volunteers.
Call (510) 444-0473 or stop in during open hours to check it out and submit a volunteer application.
Computer Docent at Elmhurst Branch
A computer docent is needed at the Elmhurst Branch (1427 88th Avenue). Help patrons with basic computer skills such as setting up an email address, learning how to use word processing, completing on-line applications, etc. This branch needs assistance Tuesdays 11:30-6:30 (or any 2-hour block within that time period), Saturdays 10:00-1:00, and 3:00-5:00 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
To apply, please complete an OPL Volunteer Application and submit to: Sara DuBois, Oakland Main Library, 125 14th St., Oakland 94612.
Designer/Design Student Special Project Consultant
The Main Branch’s book sorting area desperately needs a redesign! We need an expert to help us make this space safer and more efficient. Can you help us assess the current set-up and plan a new layout? Please submit an application to Sara DuBois at email@example.com to indicate your interest in this opportunity.
Main Library Information Desk Docent
Working with a staff person, our docents welcome library patrons and provide courteous assistance in person or by telephone from the front desk in our main lobby. Docents direct patrons to the appropriate library departments and personnel where they can then find more in-depth assistance.
Volunteers are scheduled for 2-hour shifts one day/week, and a minimum time commitment of six months is required. Please submit an application before calling (510) 238-3134.
Oakland History Room Volunteer
The Oakland History Room (OHR) is an important center for the study or the history and current development of the East Bay. OHR volunteers work on projects such as inventorying special collections, compiling bibliographies and indices, and helping mount occasional displays. If you are interested in volunteering in the History Room, please submit an application before calling (510) 238-3222.
Preschool Story Reader
Books for Wider Horizons is a program that recruits, trains, and places volunteer story readers in preschool or childcare centers throughout the City of Oakland. Call (510) 238-7453 or e-mail Celia Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request an application.
Please note that a 7-night training session (offered in the fall) is required for this program. Upon completion of the training, each participant agrees to prepare and present a weekly storytime at a partnering preschool site for at least 6 months.
Teen Zone Volunteer
Join 30+ weekly teen volunteers in assisting with materials, programming and displays in the TeenZone, a unique, recreational (fun!) facility that is unlike any library space you've probably ever seen. Talk to Brian at the Teen Zone for more information, or call (510) 238-7332. We are usually full but we always take applications for our waiting list.