Volunteering benefits everyone! Each week, more than 150 dedicated individuals volunteer for Friends. Check out current opportunities and return frequently for new ways to get involved!

Volunteer with Friends


For over 50 years, volunteers have been the heart and soul of our organization. Each year hundreds of volunteers donate their time to support Friends. Every volunteer makes a measurable impact in the funds that Friends raises for the Library's life-enriching programs and services.

Friends offers many rewarding volunteer opportunities for individuals, and high school, college, corporate, or community groups of any size. 

For more information about volunteering, please contact Judy Bernhard

Judy.Bernhard@friendssfpl.org
(415) 477-5224


Sign Up today to become a Friends volunteer. It's easy!

1) Go to our special volunteer website at www.prestogem.com/vo/friendssfpl/
2) Register, create a password, sign-in, and then sign up for your selected shifts. 

After you complete the form, you will receive a confirmation of your contact information and volunteer interests. You will start receiving emails about our current volunteer opportunities. Instructions on how you can sign up for volunteer activities will be included in the emails. Volunteer opportunities are described in more details below. 

For more information on volunteer with Friends, please contact:

Phone: (415) 626-7500
Email: volunteer@friendssfpl.org

Benefits of Volunteering Include:

  • Complimentary Friends membership, when you volunteer 100 hours with Friends each year
  • Invitation to the annual holiday party
  • Invitation to the Summer Volunteer Appreciation Party

Volunteer Opportunities

For the most current information on volunteer opportunities, please click here or go to our volunteer website at www.prestogem.com/vo/friendssfpl/


STEPS SALES

Every Wednesday (April through October, except during the Fall Big Book Sale), Friends hosts weekly book sales on the steps of the Main Library (100 Larkin Street) in San Francisco. Volunteers are needed 10:15 AM - 1 PM or 1 - 4 PM to help set up tables, stock and monitor tables, sell books, pack up unsold books, take down tables, and help load our truck. Each volunteer receives 5 FREE books for volunteering. Sales are canceled in the event of rain. This is a great volunteer activity for groups!

$1 Book Sales

Held at our Donation Center in the Mission District, on the second Saturday of each month, rain or shine. We need help with set-up on the Fridays before and with pack-up on the days of the sales. Each volunteer receives 5 FREE books for volunteering.

annual fall BIG book sale

We need hundreds of volunteers September 14 - 21, 2015 to help make the largest used book sales on the west coast a huge success! Volunteers will help set up, pack up, monitor and stock tables, sign-in and welcome other volunteers, help at our information table, cashier, and other tasks. Each volunteer receives $5 in FREE books for volunteering.

Annual spring BIG book sale

This sale has grown to be equally as big and important as our Fall Book Sale! In April 2016, we will need hundreds of volunteers to help make the largest used book sales on the west coast a huge success! Volunteers will help set up, break down, monitor and stock tables, help at our information table, sign-in and welcome other volunteers, cashier, and other tasks. Each volunteer receives $5 in FREE books for volunteering.

book donation center

Volunteers sort the books used as inventory at our Readers Bookstores, Steps Book Sales, monthly $1 Book Sales, the Fall Book Sale, and the Spring Book Sale. The Book Donation Center is located at 438 Treat Avenue. Volunteers are asked to work a 3+ hour shift anytime between 9 AM - 4 PM, Monday - Friday or 9 AM - 2 PM on Saturdays. Due to the training involved, we ask that volunteers make a multi-month commitment. This volunteer opportunity is not listed on Friends' volunteer website. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Donalda Watson-Walkinshaw at (415) 422-5224 or email donalda@friendssfpl.org. Please note that the location of the Book Donation Center will change in July. The new address will be 1630 17th Street (across from the Jackson Playground Park). 

readers bookstore, fort mason center

This is an on-going volunteer activity. Due to the training and level of responsibility involved, Friends asks volunteers to make a six-month commitment. Duties include operation of a cash register, charge & debit card machines, stocking books, receiving and directing phone calls, and greeting and engaging the the public. Retails or customer service experience preferred but not required. Must be 18 years of age or over. A warm, personable, outgoing personality is a must! Volunteer openings, when available, are posted in Friends volunteer emails. This opportunity is not listed on our volunteer website.

readers bookstore at the main

Volunteers are needed to assist staff at our store at the Main Library. Located inside the Grove Street entrance, this bookstore operates during all Main Library open hours. Due to the training and level of responsibility involved, Friends asks volunteers to make a six-month commitment. Duties include operating a cash register, charge & debit card machines, stocking books, receiving and directing phone calls, and greeting and engaging the public. Retails or customer service experience preferred but not required. Must be 18 years of age or over. A warm, personable, outgoing personality is a must! Volunteer openings, when available, are posted in Friends' volunteer emails. This opportunity is not listed no our volunteer website.

branch library book pick-ups

Volunteers, with their own vehicles, pick up donated books at neighborhood branch libraries and take them to our Book Donation Center. Must be able to to pick up a 30 lb. box of books. This is a great way to get exercise and help the library! We have many openings for volunteers.

OFFICE ASSISTANCE

Assist with mailings, hand-address envelopes, data entry, and other tasks in our office at 710 Van Ness Avenue or at our Book Donation Center.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Volunteer at Friends events! Some events include the San Francisco International Poetry Festival, One City One Book, Laureates, SFPL Recognition Awards, Tricycle Music Festival, and author events.

BOOK BUDDIES

Read to hospitalized children in San Francisco. Book Buddies are asked to make a commitment of two to three hours a week for a minimum of one year. Volunteers need to be 18 years old and must attend a one-hour orientation. Visit these websites for more information about volunteering as a Book Buddy at local hospitals: UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

For more information please contact Audrey Muntz at Audrey.Muntz@ucsfmedctr.org or Kai Forsley at kai.forsley@sfpl.org or (415) 554-4251

ADOPT A SALE

Would your corporate, community, high school or college group like to do even more? Your group can adopt a sale! Sign up to volunteer on multiple days/shifts for our Steps Book Sales or our $1 Book Sales. 

For more information on volunteering with Friends of the SFPL, please call (415) 626-7500 or fill out a volunteer application by clicking here

Connecting Students and Community Through Service

Friends offers volunteer opportunities for Bay Area high school students. For a student volunteer application click here.

BOOK DONATIONS

For information on donating books and media to Friends, click here.

Bookmark this page and check back for new ways to support the San Francisco Public Library!