Volunteering | Newberry


Newberry volunteers work at Book Fair.

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

Volunteers are an important part of the Newberry Library, dedicating thousands of hours annually to the Newberry’s collection, projects, and activities. If you are interested in volunteering, please look over the roles listed below and fill out a Volunteer Application.

Our first floor is currently undergoing a renovation scheduled to be completed at the end of June 2018. We are actively recruiting volunteers to assist as Greeters, in the Welcome Center, and in the Bookshop after the renovation is complete. Trainings for these roles will be held in June.


Greeters are friendly, outgoing individuals who enjoy engaging with the public and helping people feel welcomed at the Newberry. Greeters will assist guests in wayfinding and provide accurate information about the Newberry’s research, collections, and programs. They will also answer incoming phone calls, use the Newberry website, and maintain the greeter desk. An interest in the humanities and libraries is helpful.

Welcome Center

The Welcome Center is a new space that will open on the first floor after the renovation is complete. Welcome Center volunteers will work alongside library staff to provide guests with information about how to use the Newberry’s collection and attain reader’s cards. They will also maintain the Welcome Center space, assist guests in navigating the Newberry website and online catalog, and in answering phone calls. An interest in humanities, research, or libraries is helpful.

Bookshop Volunteers

The Newberry’s newly redesigned Rosenberg Bookshop in the Newberry Library is looking for volunteers with retail experience to assist in maintaining merchandise, handling sales, assisting clients, and taking special orders. A love of books, the humanities, and the Newberry is helpful.

Tour Docents

Docents lead public tours of the Newberry to teach the public about the collections, activities, and history of the library. Docents must be engaging and passionate, ready to share their knowledge with guests from around the world. Training for new docents will take place in July 2018.

Events Volunteer

The Newberry’s event department is currently looking for a individual to assist 10-15 hours per week. Projects include data entry, calender management, invoicing, filing paperwork, etc. A volunteer with a background in data and office management, has a flexible schedule, and is looking for a long term volunteer role would be ideal. If interested in this role, please indicate it on the volunteer application.

Book Fair Volunteers

The Newberry Book Fair requires hundreds of volunteers each summer. It is a great way to get to know the Newberry and participate in one of the nation’s largest used book fairs. Find out more about Book Fair Volunteering.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Other areas of the Newberry often need volunteers to assist with administrative work, research, and a variety of other tasks. Volunteer opportunities vary based on projects and staff needs. New openings will be posted on this page. If you are interested in these areas of the library feel free to fill out a volunteer application.

If you have questions or would like more information about volunteering at the Newberry, contact Rebecca Haynes, Manager of Volunteers, at haynesr@newberry.org or (312) 255-3526.

For information on internships please visit our internship page.