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Volunteer at the Library

NOTE: Our VolunTEEN Program is full for the 2017 Spring season.

Interested in volunteering at the library? We’re now accepting volunteer applications! You can pick up a volunteer handbook (application inside) at the library, or read the information on this page. At the bottom of this page is the volunteer application. Please read through this information to find out what volunteering at LPL means, what opportunities are available, and how we select volunteers. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email us at

About the Library

The Lawrence Public Library, recently renovated and reinvigorated, is a vibrant space and place in the heart of the city of Lawrence.  The mission and vision of the library is to offer a warm and welcoming place, where the community gathers to create, to connect, to learn, to be inspired, and to read. Our goal: each visitor will be delighted by our friendly, fearless, and effective service.

LPL provides volunteer opportunities for community members that wish to have a far-reaching impact. Serving as docents, at the welcome desk, and shelving experts, our volunteers are often the first person a patron will meet at the library. We are looking for people with the highest standards of customer service, demonstrable appreciation for LPL’s mission and vision, and a fun and creative presence.

Many times it has been said the volunteers are “priceless”, but we disagree.  What a volunteer provides the community indeed can be monetized and that is crucial to a library. Volunteers at LPL function as auxiliary staff, and your service can double or triple value of the funds that have been invested in the library.

Volunteers matter at the Lawrence Public Library.  Welcome to the team!

Volunteering at LPL

Our goal is for library volunteers to feel their time is valued, benefits their community, and supports the mission of the library. We take extra care that volunteers are a great match for the library, and are properly equipped and trained.

Volunteer Interview

Your time and talents are important to us. Rather than immediately throwing you into the mix, we want to make sure your volunteering benefits both you and the library. To find out if we’re a good match, our volunteer coordinator will contact you for a short interview to better understand your skills, interests, and commitment level. We will select those whose talents best fit the current needs of the library. Those selected will then attend an orientation session.


All selected volunteers will attend an orientation session. The orientation will cover basic library information, give a thorough tour of the building, introduce you to staff, and talk about customer service. You’ll then receive your specific volunteer assignment to dive into the deeper details of your work.


Your first day as a volunteer will consist of an on-the-floor training, shadowing employees and/or other trained volunteers. As you begin your job, you’ll have the right support to ask questions, learn how to complete your tasks, and get connected to other staff/volunteers.

Volunteer Specifics

Dress Code

We ask that volunteers wear neat, properly fitting, clean clothing that is appropriate to their work assignment. Every volunteer will also have a lanyard to help library staff and public identify you.


Transactions between Lawrence Public Library patrons, staff, and volunteers are confidential, and volunteers are asked to uphold this policy. This includes any information concerning what materials a patron viewed, requested, checked out, or any reference question asked.

Customer Service

Lawrence Public Library works hard to provide high quality and consistent customer service to every patron. We expect our staff and volunteers to “go the extra mile” to serve our patrons.

1 Month Follow-up

After 1 months of service, volunteers and their library point of contact will have an opportunity to evaluate their experience. Any questions or problems can be addressed at this time. Good communication is essential.

Volunteering FAQs

Where do I park?

The Vermont Street garage next to the library has 325 parking spaces. Street level parking is free for two hours and parking on the top of the garage is free all day. Middle level parking is $1 per 24-hour period. Cash, credit, and debit cards are accepted.

Where do I put my stuff?

There are no lockers or other secure areas for volunteers to leave purses and other belongings. Please lock your valuables in your car. Lawrence Public Library is not liable for lost or stolen personal property.

Can I bring a friend with me when I volunteer?

Sorry, if your friend is has not gone through the library volunteer application process, he or she cannot help you work while volunteering at the library.

Who do I contact if I cannot work my shift?

When you attend your orientation session, you will be given the name and contact information for the main library personnel you’ll be working with. This is who you should contact if you cannot make your scheduled volunteer shift.

Can anyone work with kids and teens?

For the safety and security of our patrons, anyone working with children under the age of 18 may be subject to a background check.

Volunteer Opportunities

Welcome Desk

Do you love the library? Would you like to share that passion with others? We’re looking for enthusiastic individuals to help staff our Welcome Desk. You will be the first stop for patrons looking for information about the library, collections, and events. Welcome Desk volunteers will need to:

  • Love helping others
  • Be the face of the library and make patrons feel welcome
  • Have great public speaking and customer service skills
  • Be familiar with computers and the library catalog
  • Monitor the library’s security gates.
  • This position will require two hour shifts on nights and weekends and some weekdays.


Do you love to organize? Is book browsing your thing? Shelving may be right for you! This position assists in shelving returned library materials as well as reading and shifting library collections. Volunteer shelvers will need to:

  • Be able to discern letters and numbers as well as have some basic understanding of library organization.
  • Have the ability to reach up high and to sit, climb or
  • balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, & crawl to make sure items get into their correct places.
  • Be able to lift, push, and/or move up to 25 pounds.
  • The position requires at least two hours of work a week. We are currently looking for volunteers to shelve Monday and Friday mornings as well as Wednesday afternoons.

Adult Programs and Events Assistant

We’re seeking individuals that are interested in helping with adult library programs and events. This position will help prep for programs, set-up tables and chairs, assist during programs, and help clean up and tear down events. Program and Events Assistants will need to:

  • Have a passion for community involvement & connections.
  • Have great hospitality & customer service skills
  • Be able to lift, move, and/or shift up to 25 pounds.
  • Hours for this position vary but are likely on evenings and weekends.

Community Needs Assessment Surveyor

The library is recruiting surveyors to assist with administering the Community Needs Assessment. You will attend community events, meet with community members, explain the project, and encourage people to participate. You can sign up for events that work for your schedule; you can help out alone, with a buddy, or with another volunteer.

Volunteer surveyors will need to:

  • feel comfortable talking to people they don’t know
  • have a passion for community engagement
  • have superb customer service skills
  • commit to helping with at least one event each month


Volunteer Application

* denotes a required field.

Name *

Street Address*

Email *

Phone *

Highest Education Level*

Are you interested in ongoing volunteer work?*
 Yes No

If yes, how many hours per week?

Are you interested in a short-term volunteer project?*
 Yes No

If yes, how many hours per week?

Which volunteer opportunity are you most interested in?*

Mark the time slots you are available to volunteer*
Sunday  Afternoon
Monday  Morning Afternoon Evening
Tuesday  Morning Afternoon Evening
Wednesday  Morning Afternoon Evening
Thursday  Morning Afternoon Evening
Friday  Morning Afternoon Evening
Saturday  Morning Afternoon

Why are you interested in volunteering? Please indicate if you are completing requirements for a specific purpose or organization.*

Tell us about your skills, training, interests, and hobbies.*

What previous volunteer experience do you have?*

Electronic Signature:*



Grade this fall:


Are there any dates or weeks you know you will be unavailable?

Teens, Please attach your letter of recommendation!

For our teen volunteers, after you have submitted your volunteer application you will receive a follow up email that your guardian will need to sign before you are able to participate in the volunteer program.

Please type the following phrase into the box provided: