San Mateo County Libraries welcome volunteers and appreciate their contributions of time and talent to assist library staff in delivering programs more efficiently and effectively. Volunteers contribute greatly to the San Mateo County Libraries and are involved in many facets of our work. A variety of assignments are available, including library ambassadors, tech support, homework support, Adult Literacy, Youth Services Book Club and more.
As a condition of volunteer service, San Mateo County Libraries conducts a criminal background check of all prospective volunteers over the age of 18. Interested volunteers will not be charged for this process but are expected to have clearance before the beginning of volunteer service. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we ensure our libraries are the safest place for all of our patrons.
For more information about the available assignments and volunteer schedules, please visit your library's volunteer pageopens a new window. You may also learn more about volunteering by reviewing the following application forms:
Adult volunteer opportunities are for volunteers that are 18 and older. The Libraries provide many opportunities for adults at the library and in the community. Please see current opportunities on the right.
Teen volunteer opportunities are for volunteers 14-17 years of age. The Libraries provide many opportunities for teens throughout the year.
There may be unique opportunities at individual locationsopens a new window. Please reach out to learn more.
Special Volunteer Opportunities
The Human Library is an event in which participants "borrow" a person for a twenty-minute conversation, much in the way you borrow a book to read. The goal is to challenge misunderstanding and bias through meaningful, and deliberate person-to-person conversations. During the event, a collection of human "books" is available for "checkout" - meaning "readers" sign up for a time slot with a “book” of their choosing. "Books" are willing to answer questions from community members through these one-on-one interactions.
The Library is currently building its "collection" of human "books" for upcoming events. If you or someone you know wants to share your story, we encourage you to find out more information.
Fingerprinting is required of all library volunteers. Apply below!
East Palo Alto Library:
- Adult Literacy Tutor/Coachopens a new window
- Saturday Basic Conversation Clubopens a new window
- Wednesday Intermediate Conversation Clubopens a new window
Half Moon Bay Library:
- Adult Literacy Tutor/Coach Half Moon Bayopens a new window
- Sunday Basic Conversation Clubopens a new window
Reach out to Adult Literacy to start the process or ask additional questions.
Youth Services Book Club
Support, empower, and encourage teens to connect through books during weekly “book clubs”.
Lawyers in the Library
Provide your legal expertise to people in need. Lawyers in the Library (LITL) is offered by San Mateo County Libraries in partnership with the San Mateo County Bar Associationopens a new window. LITL offers members of the community free, twenty-minute consultations with a volunteer lawyer.
Volunteers must have a current license to practice law in California. Hours and locations vary, but a typical shift is two hours a month. Fingerprinting is required of all applicants.
To apply, complete a short applicationopens a new window.
Friends of the Library
Interested in being a Friends of the Library volunteer and helping with the book sales or events? Look at our Friends page to learn more
In the Community
VolunteerMatchopens a new window provides a searchable directory of volunteer opportunities with a variety of organizations throughout San Mateo County and beyond.