Volunteer at the American Library in Paris

The Library has a dedicated team of more than sixty volunteers, ranging in age from teens to seniors, who donate their time and talents to support the Library community and staff.
Volunteer opportunities are available during the Library’s operating hours, including weekdays, evenings, and weekends. Training is provided for all volunteers, and schedules vary by department. Please note, all volunteers must be Library members, with the exception of volunteers who assist with the Evenings with an Author program and for students currently enrolled in a Library and Information Science program. We ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of 4 months. 
If you are interested in volunteering at the Library, please complete the volunteer application below.
Photo: Krystal Kenney

Volunteer Opportunities

Evenings with an Author

Evenings with an Author volunteers help with cultural programming at the Library, typically held on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Volunteers arrive at 18h15 and stay until 21h. Tasks include welcoming guests, setting up and managing the registration and refreshments tables, and assisting with room set-up and break-down. Excellent interpersonal skills required!

Additional requirements: Anyone 18+ is welcome to apply for this volunteer position. You do not need to be a Library member to volunteer for evening events.

Welcome Desk

Welcome Desk volunteers greet members and guests to the Library. Duties include checking membership cards, answering general questions about the Library, and taking and transferring phone calls. Welcome Desk volunteers also help keep some of our most popular collections organized, including shelving New Books and Periodicals.

Desired qualifications include customer service experience, active listening skills, and the ability to interact with people from all walks of life. A working knowledge of French is very useful in this position. 

Additional requirements:  You must be a Library member and at least 18 years old to qualify for this volunteer role.


Shelvers are responsible for maintaining the organization of the Library’s collection of 100,000 items. If you’ve ever searched in vain for a book that the Library’s catalog indicates is available for check-out, then you know how important correctly shelved materials are!

Shelvers must have strong organizational skills and the ability to use alphabetical and numerical filing systems. Good mobility, including standing for long periods, bending to low shelves, reaching above your head, and maneuvering a heavy cart full of books are also very important. This is a great opportunity for someone who enjoys organizing and sorting.

Additional requirements: You must be a Library member and at least 18 years old to qualify for this volunteer role.

Children's and Teens' Services support

All volunteers in the Children’s and Teens’ Services Department assist with shelving, preparing our event spaces for programs, inventorying the collection, and maintaining displays. Volunteers are expected to shelve books in low boxes, carry books up stairs, have the ability to stand for long periods, and use alphabetical and numerical filing systems.

In addition to core tasks, volunteers with a background in Library Science, customer service experience, or interest in children’s and young adult literature may be asked to help with special assignments such as event check-in, assembling materials for programs, and preparing new items for the collection. Volunteers do not recommend books or lead programs for children and teens. 

Additional requirements: You must be a Library member and at least 16 years old to qualify for this volunteer role Minors must have a guardian’s permission to volunteer. A minimum commitment of 6 months is preferred.

Collection Support

Collections volunteers assist with preparing and maintaining the books and magazines in circulation. Tasks also include special book searches, category verification, and catalog data entry. Volunteers must have an eye for detail, be able to work independently, and be available for one 4-hour shift between 10 and 18h, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday

This opportunity is reserved for members who have already volunteered in another role and are familiar with the workings of the Library. The Library will also consider students enrolled in Library and Information Science programs.

Additional requirements: You must be a Library member and at least 18 years old to qualify for this volunteer role.

Development and Communications

Development and Communications volunteers assist with administrative tasks as well as major events and fundraising drives. Experience working in nonprofits is a plus.

Additional requirements: You must be a Library member and at least 18 years old to qualify for this volunteer role.

How to Volunteer

Teens (ages 16–18 with consent of a parent or guardian)
Please note, spaces for teen volunteers are very limited:

If you have questions about the application process please contact volunteer@americanlibraryinparis.org.

Upon receipt of your completed application, our Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to schedule a training. At that point we will discuss how your interests, talents, and availability might match the opportunities that are currently available at the Library.

  • All volunteers go through the two-step selection process: written application followed by volunteer training.
  • The selection process is an assessment of the interests, experience, skills, and availability of each volunteer. We strive to match these as closely as possible with the opportunities currently available at the Library.
  • A commitment of 4 hours per week for a minimum of 6 months is expected.
  • Job-specific training will be provided on-site.
  • In some cases a trial period may be required to assess language proficiency or aptitude for a specific project.