Volunteer at the Library

Volunteer at the Library

Donate Your Time and Talents

        Volunteer at the Library



DC Public Library is currently recruiting for volunteers for several positions. The Library offers regular and periodic volunteer opportunities for ages 14 and up. Whether you’re new in town, a longtime D.C. resident, club, college student or library professional, we look forward to hearing from you.

 

Adults (ages 18 and up)                                                                                                               American Sign Language (ASL) Instructor – The American Sign Language Instructor will teach or serve as backup substitute teachers for the DC Public Library ASL classes. ASL classes meet once a week during the daytime and/or evening at the Library Express – Center for Accessibility and any of the other neighborhood libraries. Days and times of classes are negotiated according to volunteer availability, and needs/interests of the particular library and the community.                 

MLK Library Docent & Welcome Ambassador Volunteer – Do you have a passion for literature, history and architecture? DC Public Library invites you to join a team of Docent and Welcome Ambassadors who will assist members of the public in learning, understanding and enjoying the recently modernized Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, its artwork, history, and extensive services and collections.

Volunteers will:
 
  • Welcome and introduce visitors to DC Public Library
  • Lead tours of the Library      
  • Processing Intern - The People's Archive - The Processing Intern will be supervised by and fully process collection(s) provided by the Archival Collections Coordinator. Processing collections will include::
  • Arrange, preserve, and describe the physical materials in the collection.
  • Prepare all collection level data, including box and folder inventories.
  • With assistance, upload the finding aid data to the library’s ArchivesSpace account
The project will require the intern to learn and use a number of databases and software, and adhere to archival best practices. In addition to the processing work, intern work may also involve climbing ladders, lifting boxes of up to 50 pounds, cleaning shelves, and other physically demanding tasks. Accommodations for physical tasks will be considered as needed.

 

2022 Summer Internship

The People’s Archive at DC Public Library

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, Washington, DC

Funded by the DC Public Library Foundation

The Summer Archival Internship program at The People's Archive offers students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs the opportunity to gain professional experience in archival processing and preservation, digitization, and collection management. 

Background

The People’s Archive at the DC Public Library is the Library’s local history center and is made up of the Washingtoniana Collection, the Black Studies Collection, the DC Community Archives, and the Peabody Room at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library. Our mission is to connect you to unique resources that illustrate the District of Columbia’s local history and culture. We are a home of discovery, where diverse stories - past and present - are preserved and amplified.

The District of Columbia Public Library is dedicated to providing environments that invite reading, learning and community discussion, and opportunities for lifelong learning. The library system includes 25 neighborhood libraries and the central library, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

The DC Public Library Foundation is a private, non-profit organization. The Foundation partners with the DC Public Library to enhance Washington, DC’s public libraries, bringing private philanthropy together with government support to ensure that our libraries deliver the highest quality of service to the District’s residents.. To date, the Foundation has raised and administered over $4 million in funding for DC Public Library programs, with a focus area of literacy and children’s programs.  

Internship Timeline

The Internship will take place over 6.5 weeks, totaling 260 hours, between June 20 and August 3, 2022 and is a full time position at 40 hours a week. All processing work will take place in person at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Washington, DC. 

Internship Duties

Intern will fully process the Records of the Urban Journalism Workshop and Literary Arts Program, and other collections as time permits. 

Created in 1970 by high school teacher David Aaronson, the program allowed DC Public school students the opportunity to explore the creative arts and gain real world experience and skills through the creation of a number of student publications. 

Supervised by the Archival Collections Coordinator, the intern will:

  • Arrange, preserve, and describe the physical materials in the collection.
  • Prepare all collection level data, including box and folder inventories.
  • With assistance, upload the finding aid data to the library’s ArchivesSpace account
  • Select, digitize, and create metadata for a portion of the collection.
  • Shadow and/or work with a member of the Digital Curation staff to upload digitized materials to the Library’s digital archive, DigDC

The project will require the intern to learn and use a number of databases and software, and adhere to archival best practices. In addition to the processing work, intern work may also involve climbing ladders, lifting boxes of 50 lbs, cleaning shelves, and other physically demanding tasks. Accommodations for physical tasks will be considered as needed.   

Compensation

$4,000 distributed in two payments on July 8 and Aug. 5

Application Requirements

All applications must be saved in a single PDF and should contain the following:

  1. A letter of interest/cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. 2-3 professional references
  The single PDF should be emailed to peoples.archive@dc.gov, with the subject line “2022 Summer Internship + [Your Last Name].”
 

Deadline

Friday, April 29, 2022 at 5 p.m.

Qualifications

Applicants should possess the following qualifications:

  • Graduate studies students and prior experience in processing archival materials strongly preferred.
  • Undergraduate degree or expected degree in history, material culture, education, humanities, museum studies, museum education, anthropology or related field.
  • Demonstrated interest in libraries, archives, museums, exhibits, education, and/or history.
  • Strong writing, research, organizational, interpersonal, communication and computer skills
  • Ability to work both independently and in groups.
Applicants must successfully complete a background check and submit COVID-19 vaccination documentation (including any eligible booster shots).

Special Events Volunteer – The Special Events Volunteer will support Library events such as author talks, concerts, open houses, youth programs and more. This is a great opportunity for out-going Library enthusiasts who have limited time in their schedules.

Volunteer Computer Instructor – Volunteer Computer Instructors will teach one or more of Microsoft Office computer software or computer-based classes to the Library’s adult customers in support of the Adult Learning Department’s Workforce Digital Literacy Training Program.


Complete position descriptions are available through the application portal. All applicants ages 18 and up must successfully complete a background check. This process may take 2-3 weeks; the cost is covered by the Library.

COVID-19 Vaccination documentation is required - (two doses and one booster)

Teens (ages 14-17) 

Teen Book Reviewer Volunteer – The DC Public Library is looking for teens who enjoy books, movies and writing to author book and movie reviews for the library’s blog for teens, Teen’s Corner. Selected applicants will author one review of a book and one review of a movie that can be accessed using a DC Public Library card. Reviews will be written according to certain guidelines and sent to a library staff member for editorial review. 

QUALIFICATIONS: 
  • Must be between the ages of 14-17 (applicants who are ages 18 and older, and are enrolled in high school are considered)
  • Strong writing skills are preferred 
  • Ability to follow instructions and receive feedback 
  • Bilingual applicants are welcome and encouraged
  • A background check is required if the applicant is 18 years or older 
  • COVID-19 Vaccination documentation is required - (two shots and one booster)
MINIMUM TIME COMMITMENTS: 1-3 hours of work per week 
Week One: 1 hour for orientation, 1 hour for writing first draft of book review  
Week Two: 1 hour for reviewing feedback from staff editor and editing review for final draft


TRAINING: One-hour virtual orientation

COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS: Upon completion of training and book review, you will receive a total of 6 hours of community service credit. 
 
APPLICATION PROCESS: Submit your application via the online application portal. Once your application has been received, the volunteer engagement coordinator will contact you via phone or email to provide you with the login information for the virtual training. The deadline to submit an application for the upcoming spring cohort is FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2022.
 
Teen Special Events Volunteer (ages 14-17) – Teen Special Events Volunteers will support Library events such as author talks, concerts, open houses, youth programs and more. This is a great opportunity for teens who have limited time in their schedule and can commit to serving for one day or as needed. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

QUESTIONS: Contact Stacey Lucas, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, via email at libraryvolunteers@dc.gov or 202-741-5990.
 

Group Service Projects

Group Service Volunteer
Group Service Volunteers will support large-scale projects such as shifting books, cleaning shelves, ushering at Library events (author talks, open houses and youth programs), and assembling materials. This is a great opportunity for organizations that wish to volunteer as a group.
 
Court-Mandated Community Service 
At the present time, we do not accept court-ordered volunteer applicants. We recommend you visit Serve DC, The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism and Partnerships’ website at
serve.dc.gov or 202-727-7925 for assistance.


Before matching you to a project, staff may wish to interview you further about your skills and interests.
 
Due to a high volume of applications received, only applicants who meet the qualifications will be contacted for an interview. This process may take approximately 2-3 weeks.
 

Contact Us

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Call the volunteer program at 202-741-5990 or email libraryvolunteers@dc.gov.
 
Find other ways to support the Library at 
dclibrary.org/support.