Volunteers are the heart of The American Library in Paris. More than fifty volunteers currently donate their time and talents to provide valuable assistance to our staff and patrons of the Library. Our volunteers range in age from teens to seniors. Some do short-term projects, and some stay for decades. We welcome your gift of time, whatever it may be.
Work assignments are available during most operational hours, including weekdays, evenings, and weekends. Please see below for examples of the kind of volunteer opportunities
How to volunteer
If you are a member of the Library (or are planning to become one) and are interested in volunteering, please download and fill out one of our volunteer application forms in either Word or PDF format:Teens (you must be over 16 years old and have the consent of a parent or guardian to apply):
Email your completed form to
or mail it to:
The American Library in Paris
10, rue du Général Camou
You can also drop by the Library to fill out the application form, and leave it with the Circulation Desk. We look forward to adding you to the Library team!
Upon receipt of your completed application, our Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to schedule an interview. At that point we will discuss your interests, talents and availability, as well as what opportunities are available at the time. Once an appropriate placement is found, the Volunteer Coordinator will call you to arrange a work schedule for you. Job-specific training will be provided on-site.
- Volunteers are selected on the basis of their skills, experience, interests and availability for a particular project.
- All volunteers go through a selection process of application and informal interview.
- The selection process will assess the interests, experience and skills of each volunteer and when placing the individual will attempt to match these as closely as possible with the types of opportunities currently available within the Library.
- In some cases a trial period may be agreed.
The following list provides examples of the kind of volunteer opportunities generally available at The American Libary in Paris:
We need volunteers to help with special programs on an as-needed basis. Typical tasks would include managing a registration or beverage table, assisting with program set-up or break-down. Most of our events take place at the Library on weekday evenings, sometimes at the weekend. This is a great opportunity for a volunteer team or a family.
Assist staff in sorting, shelving, checking in and out books, CDs, magazines and newspapers. Help answer customer calls and transfer calls to staff, introduce potential members and visitors to the Library's services, events and facilities. Provide newcomers with a helping hand in filling out the membership form.
Desired qualifications include customer service experience, active listening skills, a sense of humor, flexibility, ability to interact with people from all walks of life as well as operate a cash register. You must be at least 18 years old and willing to be scheduled for two to four hours per week for a minimum of six months. Physical ability to bend, kneel, and stoop required. Bilingual French/English skills a plus. Training is provided.
On Saturday and Sunday, days when many families and working individuals come to the Library, that's when volunteers are most needed. These are two of the busiest days of the Library's week and with the influx of users come more books to be shelved, more people to welcome, added support for children's programs and more. If you can spare two Saturdays (1/2-day shifts) or two Sundays (1/2-day shifts) a month please let us know.
The Library has several volunteer positions in the Children’s and Young Adult Services department that may appeal to you. All require familiarity with children's and YA literature and knowledge of alpha/numeric order along with patience and a good sense of humor!
General duties for Children's department volunteers include: re-shelving books, conducting inventory, maintaining displays, and assisting in preparation for children's programs.
In addition to these tasks, Story Hour volunteers assist in presenting Story Hour programs alongside the youth librarian on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Story Hour volunteers should be comfortable reading out loud and singing in front of a small crowd of children and parents.
Young Adult Services volunteers help during teen events after-hours. Some lifting and moving may be required, as well as lots of energy! We are also looking for volunteers with an interest in graphic design and social media to help with some exciting new projects in this department.
Schedules vary and training is provided. A minimum commitment of 6 months is requested. Please specify what activities you are interested in and note your favorite children's or YA book under the "interests, skills, or hobbies" section when filling out the volunteer application.
If you’ve ever looked for a book that the Library says is in but that you can’t find, then you know how important correctly shelved materials are to a user-friendly library. Qualities needed for this position include good eyesight, the ability to stand for long periods and to follow directions, to use alphabetical and numerical filing systems, to reach above your head, use a footstool and push carts of books. This is a great opportunity for teenage volunteers (age 16 or older). If you like to organize things, this is the job for you!
Special book searches, category verification, and cataloging are just a few of the tasks that collection support volunteers may be called on to perform. Volunteers must have an eye for detail, must be able to work without close supervision and must be available to volunteer during regular business hours. Interns from Library schools are encouraged to apply.
Love books? Love to organize? Volunteer your time with the Collection Librarian and assist in boxing up books for deliveries to other libraries and to our friends at Better World Books
. If you like to keep busy, are able to bend and lift boxes, and can offer a minimum commitment of 4 days over two weeks (shorter morning or afternoon shifts are fine), we’d love to have you!
Another behind-the-scenes job, preparing material for circulation is a good way to see what’s new in the Library's collection before anyone else! Duties include covering books and affixing labels. Training is provided. A minimum commitment of 4-months (at least once a week) is requested.
Volunteers are required to help coordinate book groups at the Library. Volunteers helps select books, research authors, develop discussion questions and lead a book discussion each month. You must be comfortable leading a group of 5 to 15 people. Read more about the book groups now in progress
Occasionally, the library needs assistance with special projects. The scope of duties may cover a broad range of activities, from clerical work to jobs involving more physical stamina including, but not limited to, filing, data entry, sorting books, stapling, assembling papers or other items, using copying machine, mailings, or doing data entry, 2-3 hours per week desired.
We are looking for volunteers who have an interest and expertise in social media and graphic design. Under the guidance of staff, duties would include actively posting on all of our social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Volunteer with graphic design experience - or students studying graphic design - can help with maintaining the slides that are featured on our flatscreen monitor at the front of the Library, along with other projects.