Volunteer Program FAQ

Read through our frequently asked questions to find out more about volunteering at the State Library.

What is a volunteer?

A volunteer is a person who contributes his/her time, talents and performs tasks or services of his/ her own free will, without expectation or receipt of wages or compensation. Volunteers play an important role in the library and are appreciated and rewarded for giving of their valuable time. The following are some FAQs that you may find helpful in making a decision about becoming a volunteer at the library.

What volunteer opportunities are available at the SLNSW?

There are three main types of volunteer tasks

  1. Front of house: These tasks include a variety of guided tours, speaking to community groups, hosting exhibitions and assisting with events. 
  2. Behind the scenes: These tasks are varied but include sorting collection material, clerical assistance, researching, listing and description of collection, collection preservation, providing administrative support and transcribing our original manuscript material. 
  3. Digital volunteering off site: With the Library's new purposely built transcription tool volunteers can transcribe, edit and correct our digital material of diaries, letters, manuscripts and records from their own home wherever they live.
What benefits are there for Volunteers?

State Library Volunteers receive:

  • Invitations to social outings and events
  • Regular coffee mornings featuring presentations from The Library staff, curators and guest speakers
  • Training to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of the Library's collections and programs
  • Quarterly editions of SL Magazine and What's On
  • Service awards
  • Access to the heritage Volunteer Room
  • A discount of 10% at the Library shop and Cafe Trim.
How can I learn more about the State Library NSW?

It would be advantageous for you to do the following things to assist you in your decision to become a volunteer at the SLNSW:

  • Join the Library and get a Library card. Visit the Library regularly and view the current exhibitions
  • Do a tour of the Library which commences daily Mon- Fri from the foyer
  • Become familiar with the Library website
  • Become a Friend of the Library and attend the events on offer
  • Attend lectures and talks listed on the website
What type of training will I receive?

You will be given an induction and orientation to the Library on your commencement. You will be provided with relevant training for the different types of tasks you will undertake.

You will be advised about Work Health and Safety responsibilities and informed that you are covered by the State Library's Public Liability Insurance.

How much time do I need to give to the Library?

The time required will depend on whether it is a time limited task or an ongoing set of responsibilities.

You will need to sign on and off each you attend the Library, this allows the Library to keep oversight of the hours being worked by Volunteers overall and for Health and Safety requirements.

You will need to inform your supervisor if you are unable to attend the Library.

Being a volunteer may be only for a time limited period and does not ensure longevity.

How old do I need to be to be a Volunteer?

You need to be 18 years or older to volunteer at the State Library.

How many Volunteers does the SLNSW currently have?

Our volunteer team has an average of 120 to a 150 members.

How can I become a volunteer?

Once you have reviewed this information and decided that you would like to become a volunteer at the SLNSW then send an email to the Volunteer Program Coordinator expressing your interest in becoming a volunteer.  You will be notified when opportunities become available and you will complete more detailed paperwork at that time.