Current Volunteer Opportunities

Central Senior Services Computer Tutor

The Parkway Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Senior Center is seeking volunteers to assist senior citizen customers with computer familiarity assistance. Volunteers in this capacity will meet on a regular basis with members of the general public age 50 and over to offer computer assistance. One-on-one sessions with library customers last 30 minutes. A laptop will be provided.

Qualifications

  • Must be 18 years of age.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel, Internet Explorer, online email sites, social networking sites, and general computer basics.
  • Strong communication skills, social skills, patience, and flexibility are required.

Responsibilities

  • Orientation will be provided by departmental staff.
  • Maintain a consistent schedule for appointment/scheduling.
  • Communicate with department staff about library resources and services offered to senior customers as needed.

Length of Commitment

3 months, minimum 1 day per week for 3 hours.

Opportunity Expires:

Ongoing.


English Conversation Group Facilitator

The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) is seeking volunteers to facilitate English conversation groups for English language learners at FLP branches. The goal of these conversation groups is to significantly impact the ability and willingness of adult English language learners to communicate effectively in everyday situations. In many cases these discussion groups will provide opportunities for individuals to practice and enhance skills learned in an English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom or tutoring situation.

Qualifications

  • Must be 18 years of age or older, speak English and have the ability to read and write English.
  • Have good communication, listening and organizational skills.
  • Willingness to commit to a consistent weekly meeting schedule for 4 months.

Responsibilities

  • Successful completion of a 2–4 hour training program on the philosophy of the FLP English Language Learners' Groups as the role and responsibilities of volunteer facilitators.
  • Completion of 2-hour follow-up training two months after initial meeting with English Laguage Learners' Group to fine-tune facilitation and give feedback for process.
  • Facilitate a weekly informal English Language Conversation Group at a Free Library of Philadelphia branch.
  • Conduct conversation groups keyed to participants' specific needs and interests. Seek assistance from Youth Services and Programs or Free Library staff when needed.

Training Provided

A 2–4 hour training program will provide an understanding of the process and goals of the FLP English Language Conversation Group Facilitators. Youth Services and Programs staff is available to discuss conversation topics and activities when necessary.

Length of Commitment

Approximately 4 months following completion of facilitator training.

Opportunity Expires:

Ongoing.


Author Events/Special Events

The Author Events series offer Philadelphians a chance to get close to and personally hear some of the greatest literary lights of our time, including in recent years Elie Wiesel, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, Orson Scott Card, John Updike, and more.

Event Volunteers

Lecture event volunteers greet and seat patrons prior to events, assist with microphones during Q & A sessions, and help with post-event author signings in the Main Lobby.

Requirements

Must be able to stand for long periods of time and work evenings, dress appropriately, and be customer service-oriented.

Opportunity Expires:

Ongoing.


Job Readiness Computer Tutor

Work in a computer lab with library customers (one-on-one and in small groups) in preparing resumes, establishing email accounts, and navigating the Internet to career postings. In some locations, volunteers may assist non-native citizens to access immigration services to secure appointments to complete forms. Assist in the preparation of job-search materials, including the writing and inputting of data.

There are opportunities in West, North, and Northwest Philadelphia.

Qualifications

Must be at least 18 years old, have good writing skills, be proficient in Microsoft Office, and have good communication skills. Prior training or presentation experience a plus. Must be able to work on a team and independently, have patience and be totally dependable.

Responsibilities

  • Orientation will be provided by departmental or branch staff.
  • Maintain a consistent schedule for appointment/scheduling.
  • Communicate with department staff about library resources and services offered to senior customers as needed.

Length of Commitment

3 months, minimum 1 day per week for 3 hours.


Library Outreach Volunteer Assistant

This volunteer position is primarily concerned with in-person customer service. Volunteers in this capacity will assist the public in library card registration and provide information on programs and services of the Free Library of Philadelphia at outside events.

Responsibilities

  • Carry promotional materials, pens, applications, and other necessary supplies to the outreach site.
  • Display and arrange the outreach materials on the table/space provided by the hosting organization.
  • Provide basic information about programs and services offered by the Free Library of Philadelphia.
  • Explain and assist patrons in the library card application process.
  • Return all equipment, unused giveaway materials and the envelope of library card applications completed by patrons.
  • Return the forms with unanswered patron questions to TOPSS.

Requirements

  • Excellent communication skills — ability to interact pleasantly, constructively, and cooperatively with the public and to listen effectively and respond to public inquiries.
  • Knowledge of the Free Library program, services, and materials. (Training will be provided.)

Physical Demands

  • Ability to travel to locations throughout the city.
  • Ability to lift and carry the outreach equipment and materials — no more than 5 pounds.
  • Ability to listen to questions from the public and to verbally respond appropriately.

Working Environment

Outreach events are off-site from the library inside community or social service buildings in conference or meeting room spaces.

Training

Training for volunteers will be held monthly at Parkway Central, and new volunteers will be asked to complete a 2-hour orientation session prior to receiving an assignment.

Opportunity Expires:

Ongoing.


Questions? Contact Volunteer Services Program at (215) 686-5340 or email at volunteer@freelibrary.org. Please print out a Volunteer Application and return to Volunteer Services Program, 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA.