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Library Volunteer FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about becoming a library volunteer

Who can be a volunteer?  Volunteer activities are for adults, with limited positions available for those age 15-17.  We are looking for people who love the library and what we offer to the community and want to help!

What are the time expectations?  Most ongoing volunteer positions require a weekly one- to three-hour commitment for at least six months.

Will I be trained?  Yes! All volunteers go through a general orientation and then training for their specific role. The staff and other volunteers love to help, so ask any questions you like.

Are all volunteer candidates accepted?  While we strive to place each applicant, it is not always possible to match the needs of the library with the talents, interests and availability of our volunteers.

Do I have to get a background check?  Maybe. Volunteers who work with children and seniors need to get a background check.

Do I have to take a test?  Maybe. Volunteers who help keep our books in order must pass a short test on the Dewey Decimal classification system. You can find a study guide online or with the volunteer coordinator.

I’m 12-15 years of age and really want to volunteer or have community service hours to do. Is there a place for me?   Though the Carlsbad City Library does not have regular openings for this group, we do invite students of this age to volunteer during the Summer Reading Program (SRP). Please contact the Children’s Desk directly for important SRP details and deadlines. Applications are due in May. Dove: 760-602-2047, Cole: 760-434-2897, Library Learning Center: 760-931-4500. We also suggest contacting volunteer centers such as

Is there a volunteer uniform?  No, but we do ask our volunteers to represent the library well by dressing conservatively and comfortably. 

I need to do community service, can I do that here?  Yes! School community service is welcome, as well as court-ordered community service; but for misdemeanors only. 

I’ve heard about an adult literacy program; can I get more info?  Literacy Services uses volunteers to offer free tutoring to  English-speaking adults who want to learn to read and write better. For details, contact Literacy Services directly at 760-931-4510.

Who are the “Friends of the Library"?  This is a nonprofit partner organization that supports the library. If you wish to volunteer with the Friends, please contact them directly at 760-602-2020.

Will I be paid?  No, volunteering with the library is an unpaid position and does not guarantee employment at the library.  If you are interested in employment, please check the opportunities on the City of Carlsbad website.

Will they take my picture?  Maybe. We occasionally have photographers capture our volunteers in action to use the photos for promotion.  If you do not wish to be photographed, we ask you to step out of view of the camera. 

 What kinds of positions are available?  Here is a sampling of what’s going on around the library. (Note: The need for these services varies, and other volunteer opportunities are available.)

  • Helping people learn how to get books off the cloud and onto their reading devices. (eBook tutor)
  •  Sorting through the hundreds of books we are given every month. (Book donations)
  • Making sure our books are in the right place on the bookshelves.  (Shelf reading)
  • Offering to help K-12 students with their homework. (Homework Zone)
  • Delivering books and a friendly face to those who can’t make it to the library. (Homebound program)

Contact Information

Library Volunteer Services
Tammy Enete
760-602-7940 fax

1775 Dove Lane
Carlsbad, CA 92011