Our volunteers are recruited and managed through the NYBG Volunteer Office. Please feel free to reach out to library staff if you are interested in working on a particular project, with a particular collection, or in a specific area of the library.
The library welcomes volunteers to assist staff and visitors in a number of ways. Volunteers in the public areas assist with projects such as checking out books to visitors, shelving books, and assisting with inventory projects related to smaller, special collections. Volunteers in the non-public areas of the library assist with projects related to large-scale collection maintenance and digitization projects. Special projects, such as work in the Archives, Conservation department, Exhibitions department, photograph collections, and other special collections are periodically available. Previous library experience is very helpful, and strong organizational skills as well as comfort with computers are essential. Library staff will provide training for all special projects. A regular schedule of at least 4 hours per week is preferred.
Volunteers in the Plant Information Office answer email, telephone and in-person inquiries related to indoor and outdoor horticulture, often assisting home gardeners in the greater NYC region. Basic horticultural/gardening knowledge is essential, learned through either formal instruction or employment. Volunteers should be comfortable conducting research using books and appropriate websites, and comfortable writing emails in keeping with the NYBG official tone and style. Finally, volunteers must be comfortable using the computer to complete basic tasks. 4 hours per week is required, with shifts ideally being scheduled on weekday mornings between 9am and 1pm. For those with more comfort using computers, there are additional opportunities to research and develop official website content that is shared online with the public in New York State and beyond.