There are plenty of volunteering opportunities at the Libraries and the National Archives (an institution of the National Library Board), making it easy to find one that suits your skills, interests, and free time. Sign up at the Friends of the Library online portal and check out programmes such as:
1. Running libraries
At library@chinatown, Volunteer Service Stewards sort and shelve returned materials and help patrons with enquiries. Since the library’s opening in 2013, the volunteer headcount has risen from 40 to 100 to date, many of whom are senior citizens.
2. Spreading the love of reading
As a kidsREAD volunteer, spread the love of stories by reading aloud to children from less privileged families. There are also monthly Mother Tongue Language reading clubs in public libraries, where volunteers encourage children to read in their mother tongue languages.
3. Starting young
Young readers aged 9 to 12 can become Junior Reading Ambassadors and attend a three-day training camp to learn skills such as storytelling and public speaking. Older readers can become Teen Reading Ambassadors, helping out at library events and mentoring their younger counterparts.
4. Preserving the past
Keep history alive by participating in the Citizen Archivist Project by the National Archives of Singapore. To make archival materials accessible to the public, volunteers transcribe documents and describe photographs. Since 2015, 20,000 pages of documents and 1,800 images have been transcribed and tagged. Volunteers can also transcribe and translate oral histories.