Volunteering | Newberry

Volunteering

Newberry volunteers work at Book Fair.

Newberry volunteers assist in everything from special catalog duties to preparing for the Book Fair.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Newberry. There are often many volunteer opportunities available, and we make a careful effort to match your skills and interests to the open positions. At other times there may not be any demand for volunteers, so it may take some time until a placement is available. Our goal is to meet the needs of the various departments while affording volunteers the opportunity to do enjoyable and satisfying work. There may be additional opportunities that are not listed here; To find out if we have an opportunity for you, please contact volunteers@newberry.org.

Volunteering as a Tour Docent is an excellent way to expand your knowledge about the Newberry Library - its historic founding as well as its current dynamic offerings. The Newberry offers to the Public building tours twice a week on Thursdays (at 3 pm) and Saturdays (at 10:30 am). Every tour is an opportunity to connect with our curious visitors and share your enthusiasm for the Newberry. We ask that our tour docents be available to give tours at least once a month and participate in ongoing training and preparation. Please note that standing and walking for about an hour is involved with our public tours. The requested time commitment is for long-term volunteers at 1 hour per tour, once per month; especially for Thursday tours, though there are some openings for Saturdays as well.

Volunteering with our weekly Colloquia is another terrific way to hear engaging presentations while supporting the Newberry. The Colloquium brings together the Newberry community to learn about research or projects conducted by our staff, fellows, scholars-in-residence, and other invited speakers. Colloquia topics usually relate to the Newberry’s collection and presentations are intended for a non-specialist audience. Colloquium events are open to the Newberry community and the general public and convene most Wednesday afternoons; Refreshments are served at 3:30 pm and the talk begins at 4 pm, followed by a brief discussion. Colloquium Volunteers will help prepare refreshments, assist with technology setup, welcome attendees, and post colloquium clean up. The requested time commitment is for Wednesdays from 2:45 - 5:30 pm; 1 - 2 weeks per month.

Another opportunity is in volunteering with our Newberry Bookstore, one of the few independent book/gift stores owned by cultural institution, serves the clients and readers of the Newberry Library and seeks a few exceptional volunteers to assist with clients and transactions. Where many other organizations have allowed chain stores to run their shops, we do all of our own buying, processing, selling and merchandising as well as providing assistance to the readers and staff of the Library. Our clients are neighborhood folks, readers, visiting researchers and luminaries from Academia. The Newberry Bookstore is currently seeking 1 - 2 individuals with enthusiasm for the Newberry Library and, of course, books; Comfortability for conversational interactions with a variety of visitors and clientele; Committed to supporting the Newberry Library, and familiarity and/or facility with a computerized register, cash drawer, and basic Excel. The requested time commitment is a minimum of 4 hours per shift on a weekly basis.

If nothing is available or of interest, keep in mind that our annual Book Fair requires a tremendous volunteer effort and is a great way to get to know the Newberry. Find out more about Book Fair Volunteering.