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Volunteer Program

Volunteers are an invaluable presence at the State Library. We rely on our fantastic volunteers to help us fulfill our mission and vision, and welcome any dedicated individuals who are looking to donate their time and talents.

State Library volunteers make a huge and immediate impact on the lives of customers and staff. They narrate local-interest audio books for people with print-impairments, repair and preserve books and maps, and review automated optical character recognition text to help make digitized historical collections more accessible. These efforts benefit researchers, state employees, and people with print-impairments here in Oregon, as well as similar groups across the country.

The State Library can also facilitate valuable skills development if you are pursuing a library career. Librarians and library school students help Oregonians with questions through the State Library’s Answerland virtual reference chat service, while gaining practical experience in the process. The State Library of Oregon is here to help you build your skills and be your cheerleader.

Whether you are hoping to fill some free time, to gain new skills, or wanting to support your community, the State Library is a great place to achieve your volunteering goals!

Click here for Volunteer Opportunities 

General Information:

the words we need you with a hand pointing towards the reader

The State Library welcomes volunteers age 14 and older, and complies with all BOLI wage and hour rules. We usually reply within 1-2 business days to questions and applications. The onboarding process involves a review of your submitted application, reference checks, and an interview. Depending on the opportunity, there may be some attire requirements (i.e. closed-toe shoes). Client and caregiver teams are welcome. All volunteers, whether in-person or remote, must be residents of the United States.

Available Volunteer Opportunities:

Answerland Reference Chat (Remote)

Are you a new MLIS graduate wanting to gain some reference experience to put on your resume? Or a seasoned librarian who wants to further develop their skills? Then consider this opportunity to volunteer with Answerland, the State Library of Oregon’s 24/7 online virtual reference chat service! Through Answerland, librarians help anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Oregon find answers to questions and receive research guidance. Librarians can keep their reference tools sharp by participating in a collaborative environment that facilitates sharing of expertise, virtual reference trends, and best practices. This opportunity offers volunteers valuable hands-on experience that brings to life what they learn in a classroom or workplace, as well as networking opportunities, professional development, and experience-based leadership opportunities.

Requirements: must have reference experience or have completed a reference class at an ALA accredited college or university MLS/MLIS program within the past 10 years.

Commitment: at least one 2-hour shift every week for a minimum of six (6) months.

Circulation Assistant (In Building)
Are you looking to add everyday value to your community? Do you want to share the joy of reading with people who are print-impaired? Then consider this opportunity to help circulate audio books for the Talking Book and Braille Library! Tasks include preparing customized audio book cartridges for mailing and processing returned materials for reuse. Over 4,700 Oregonians currently use the Talking Book and Braille Library as their connection to the world, with over 1,000 books going out each day. Training is provided onsite by staff and no experience is required. Consider joining our Talking Book and Braille Library team, so that all may read!

Commitment: at least one morning shift (9AM – 12noon) per week for a minimum of six (6) months.

Book Mender (In Building)

Do you have an interest in renewing, repairing, and restoring? Do you like working with your hands and have an eye for detail? Then consider this opportunity to mend materials at the State Library an excellent fit for you! The Book Mender position has a key role to play in the maintenance and preservation of the physical, paper-based collections at the State Library of Oregon. Enjoy a true sense of accomplishment in this position by helping to repair various books, pamphlets, maps, and other library materials. Orientation, training, and supplies are provided on-site by State Library staff and preservation professionals. Keeping our materials in tip-top shape helps maintain our commitment to ensuring access to Oregon government publications and being stewards of resources to support democracy and the public good.

Commitment: at least one morning shift (8:30AM  12noon) per week, 2-3 hours per shift, for a minimum of six (6) months.

Welcome Center Volunteer (In Building)

Looking for a gentle way to serve your community? Do you have a heart for people who need directions or have a question? The State Library needs volunteers to staff our Welcome Center. Welcome Center volunteers help set the tone to ensure visitors have an educated, positive, and fulfilling experience. This is a customer service position, with responsibilities that include greeting visitors, handling some basic office tasks, and monitoring the State Library’s lobby. One-on-one orientation will be arranged, and training will be provided by a State Library staff member. A help guide is provided for easy reference. The Welcome Center is indoors with a desk and ergonomic chair. The area is well-lit and climate controlled.
Commitment: at least one 2-3 hour shift every week, though you can choose to do more. The Welcome Center is open on weekdays from 9:00AM to 12noon and 1:00PM to 4:00PM.

Other Volunteer Opportunities:

Some volunteer opportunities at the State Library are only available periodically. Check back here or visit our VolunteerMatch profile to see when recruitments open up.

Presidential Volunteer Service Awards:

The eagle and shield from the great seal of the united states with the words "The President's Volunteer Service Award around itThe State Library of Oregon is an official Certifying Organization for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. We want to make sure our volunteers are recognized for directly contributing to the continued tradition of proving the value of libraries by improving the quality of life for others, preserving Oregon’s history, and supporting the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

Hours spent volunteering at the State Library can be counted both towards yearly awards and the Lifetime Acheivement Award. Visit the Presidential Volunteer Service Award website for more detailed information about eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Yes! Even though there are no volunteer opportunities advertised, please feel free to submit a volunteer application. We will keep your application handy for when a new opportunity is available. We will keep your application for 6 months and reach out to those in the order of applications received and based on fit (some volunteer opportunities require specific skills and experience to complete).​

Please contact Joel Henderson by email at or by phone at 503-871-6134.​


Yes. Although we do not have a requirement for time volunteered per week. We do our best to balance the need of the task supervisor and the availability of the volunteer. Some tasks have a strict schedule and time commitment, while others are more flexible. All volunteer opportunity listings found on Volunteer Match will include the desired schedule for the task.​

You must be at least 14 years of age to be considered for a volunteer position. We have made exceptions for younger volunteers when they are volunteering with a group.​

First, review the open volunteer opportunities on the State Library’s page on Volunteer Match. Second, fill out a volunteer application. The Volunteer Coordinator will review your application and reach out to you shortly after. If selected for a volunteer opportunity, we will set up a meeting to discuss the task in more detail and review the State Library volunteer policies and expectations. Lastly, we will set your schedule, introduce you to your task supervisor and train you on the task you’ll be completing.

Maybe. We have previously offered summer work experience programs for high school students. However, there are a few requirements for this opportunity to happen. Those requirements are:

  1. ​We normally take only 1 student at a time, so it’s first come, first serve.
  2. Programs normally last around 2 months.
  3. Please contact Joel Henderson by email at no later than April 15thThis gives us time to brainstorm a list of tasks. We will notify you if we were able to come up with enough tasks to offer a summer work experience opportunity no later than May 15th.
  4. A weekly time commitment will be based on the needs of the tasks and the availability of the student. In most cases the students will volunteer between 6-10 hours per week.

If an opportunity is available, this is a great chance for students to learn about the State Library and gain some valuable experience they can use for future employment. 

Maybe. We have had opportunities for groups to volunteer before; although sparingly. We would be happy to talk to you about any available opportunities, please contact Joel Henderson by email at


Yes, we have at least one ongoing remote volunteer opportunity at all times for folks looking to help out from the comfort of their own home. More opportunities may be added as need, so please check back frequently.