Skip to content

Volunteer > Library Volunteers


[12/15/09: application period closed]

Volunteers are needed in the Storefront Library from October 15 to December 31, 2009 January 17, 2010. If possible, volunteers are asked to commit to a regular schedule, for example, at least one morning or afternoon per week for the duration of the installation. Volunteer responsibilities include: receiving library patrons and orienting them to resources and services in the Storefront Library; answering questions and educating visitors about Chinatown generally; working in partnership with the Storefront Library Site Manager and Library Service Interns to maintain the space and set up for special events, such as story hours or readings.

All volunteers will be supervised by Boston Street Lab (, the nonprofit producer of the Storefront Library.

Thursday – Monday, morning and evening shifts available, October 15 to December 24, 2009 January 17, 2010. (Library Hours)


  • Friendly, organized, good communications skills, and excellent customer service orientation.
  • Bi-lingual (Chinese/English), with knowledge of Boston’s Chinatown or the Chinatown community preferred but not required.
  • Teaching or library experience preferred but not required.

The Chinatown Storefront Library ( will transform one of Boston Chinatown’s vacant, commercial, street-level spaces into a temporary installation featuring elements of a public library. Operating for approximately three months, the project will create a memorable event for Chinatown and a new destination for visitors to downtown Boston. It will also provide a selection of urgently needed services for a community that has been without a library since 1956, including books, newspapers, periodicals, internet access, a children’s reading area, film screenings, classes, and community events—all visible to passersby from the street.

Taking cues from a Program and Siting Study commissioned by the City of Boston (, the anticipated audience for the Storefront Library includes:
– Elderly and adults with young children from Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood;
– Visitors interested in readings, screenings and other programs;
– Vistiors interested in the Storefront Library’s innovative urban design and program.

The Storefront Library is not a branch of the Boston Public Library, nor is it intended to be a substitute for permanent branch. The goal is to demonstrate and test the potential impact of a permanent library in the neighborhood. The project also models how cities can move forward in tough economic times to activate urban space and serve communities. Program advisors include several senior staff members and librarians from the Boston Public Library, as well as a librarian from the Brooklyn Public Library in NY.

Please send an email to Leslie Davol, Director, Boston Street Lab, ( with the following: cover letter, resume, and list of references. Applicants should use their cover letter to highlight any relevant experience. For questions, email or call (617) 275-8117.