Volunteer for the Library

Make a difference in the lives of others. Volunteer at the Library

You can help people and improve our community by joining with the Memphis Public Libraries as a volunteer. Discover the rewards of giving your time and energy to an organization that enriches the lives of people every day. 


  • Use your unique talents–when you can, where you want to. Volunteer at any branch in town!
  • Learn something new every day. There’s always something going on at the Library!
  • Help others and have a great time, too. Meet new people in a great community atmosphere!

Active Volunteers Also Enjoy These Extra Benefits:

  • Check out library materials free*
  • Annual Volunteer Recognition party
  • Quarterly newsletter and special events

*after 3 months or 30 hours of volunteering service; late fees not included


Apply online or print off a paper application.  You can also pick up a volunteer application from any of our library locations, fill it out and return it. We’ll contact you and put you to work as soon as the screening process is complete and your volunteer assignment is confirmed!

Note: You must be at least 14 years old to volunteer. A one year commitment is requested of all volunteers.

Volunteer Opportunities at the Memphis Public Library

The Memphis Public Library & Information Center has a wide array of volunteer opportunities. Currently there are almost 500 volunteers who assist the Library in a wide variety of tasks. During this past year, volunteers were vital to the Library’s mission of satisfying the customers’ need to know.

Each current volunteer assignment is listed below with a brief summary of responsibilities and the time requested to fulfill the job. Each volunteer duty will have its own unique training program which is required to be successfully completed. During your orientation you will be given a job description.

The Library honors all volunteers each year.  Here is a list of the Volunteer Awards by Year.

Current openings include:

  • Welcome Desk Greets visitors at the Central Library, answers questions and provides directions for library customers, three hour weekly shift desired  
  • Bookstore Central Library; sales associate at Second Editions, assist customers finding books, shelve and arrange books, operate cash register, 3-4 hours per week desired  
  • Computer Assistant All locations; assists customers who are trying to use library computers with getting started, using library catalogue to locate items, learning how to print, setting up email accounts, perform basic word processing functions, and troubleshooting, 3-4 hour shift once per month minimum desired  
  • Radio Reader Central Library; read for WYPL FM 89.3 in either live broadcasting of The Commercial Appeal or booth recordings of magazines and newspapers, 2-4 hours per week desired  
  • CLOUD901 (Teen Learning Lab) Central Library; assist with training, mentoring, or facilitating youth in Cloud 901.  Must have skills to use various forms of technology & equipment, along with the ability to work with youth.  
  • Genealogy Assistant Central Library; assists customers with genealogical research or in use of microfilm machines  
  • Memphis and Shelby County Room Central Library; abstract primary source materials by doing summarizations, file historical materials, index materials according to established procedures, 2-3 hours per week desired  
  • Office or Data Entry Many locations; assist with office needs including, filing, copying, collating, mailings, or doing data entry, 2-3 hours per week desired  
  • Branch Shelving Assistant All branches; shelve books, magazines or newspapers, box donated books, or provide general assistance at the branches, 2-3 hours per weeks desired  
  • Summer Reading Many locations; assist with summer reading program and associated programs, intensive eight week summer program, 2 hours approximately 2-3 times each week for the duration of the summer program  
  • Docent Central Library; gives tours to school and adult groups from the community, usually docents also work at the Welcome Desk to become increasingly familiar with library services and programs which are helpful in giving tours, three hour weekly shift desired