Roshan personifies the true spirit of a library volunteer. As characterized by the Southwest Express' assistant manager, Christy Chang, she is flexible and does whatever is needed whether it is shelving materials or getting handouts ready for a computer class. I was impressed with Roshan's enthusiam and her vivacious personality. She is not afraid to admit that she is 83 years old and volunteers about 20 hours per week. Originally from Pakistan, Roshan has been living in Houston for 30 years. She believes volunteering at the library is a great way to keep one's self busy, meet interesting people and doing a bit of good for the community.
Another dedicated volunteer is Jackie who found the library serendipitously while searching for an internship. She is a local community college student who volunteered at the Central Library for about 5 months, working 20 hours per week. She was impressed with the entire process and its efficiency. It didn't take long for her to get a schedule and start working in the Central Chief's office with various duties.
Andrea Lawrence, our volunteer services coordinator recommends volunteers to be at least 14 years of age of older, willing to complete a minimum of 20 hours in the first 6 weeks, maintain a regular volunteer, able to complete a volunteer orientation and training and of course be flexible! So anyone can volunteer if you fit this criteria. According to Andrea, a lot of times it is retirees, senior citizens, people looking for work and groups such as students, corporations or non-profits. She shares with us what our volunteers say about working here:
“I really enjoyed volunteering on Saturday. You all did an excellent job. It is amazing all of the services that HPL provides the community. I look forward to volunteering for future events.” (2015 Lift Off Houston Small Business Competition Award Ceremony volunteer)
“I'm presently 16 years old and I came back to Walter after a couple years to volunteer. This has really been an eye opener I can say, all the work that is put into keeping the library as put together and accessible for others is amazing. A great program that I helped with this year was the summer reading program...having been here a lot for my childhood and my sister attending and doing the same things I used to do, to being a volunteer this summer has been a great experience. Thanks to all the friendly, hardworking and attentive staff, I'm pleased to call Walter my library.” (2015 Summer Reading Program volunteer)
There are several types of volunteer positions available:
- Collection assistant (shelving, weeding, shifting)
- Library assistant
- Story time Assistant
- Program Assistant
- Technology Assistant/Computer Lab Assistant
- Greeter/Welcome Desk
- Tour Guide/Docent
- Computer Instructor/ESL Instructor/Citizenship Instructor
- After School Zone Assistant (mentor, tutor, homework help)
- Special Collections (archival/research assistant, cataloging/metadata)
And here is a brief list of events and programs where our volunteers help our customers:
- Children’s Festival
- Literacy Based Events & Programs
- Collection Projects
- Children’s Book Celebration
- Camp STREAM/Camp STREAM Reloaded
- Libro Fest
- Lift Off Houston Awards Ceremony
- HPL Fall Festival
- Via Colori Street Painting Festival
- Quarterly Author Events
- Annual Summer Reading Program
Visit our Volunteer Services page to find out more information.
Saima K., Librarian at HPL and former library volunteer at various libraries.