Get Involved

Want to help support the Vancouver Public Library? There are several ways you can get involved:

Become a Member

Become a member by visiting book’mark and buying a Friends membership for $5. Or by clicking here!!

Membership Benefits

  • The satisfaction of supporting the Vancouver Public Library!
  • A discount at book’markThe Library Store
  • Additional exclusive member discounts events at book’mark
  • Access to volunteering opportunities
  • Invitations to special members-only programming
  • Voting privileges at the annual general meeting

Join online here. If you would prefer to fill out a paper form, please click here for a pdf.

Volunteer

We love volunteers! Our volunteers are a wonderful group of people with diverse backgrounds, who all share a common love of libraries and reading.

If you are a Friend (member) of the Vancouver Public Library already, we invite you e-mail us a resume and a note about your interests. Please note that as we are an entirely volunteer-run organization it may take some time to get back to you. We may also contact you with opportunities based on the volunteer interests that you check off when you become a member.

If you are not a Friend (member) yet – consider joining us.

Please note that all volunteers must be 18 years or older.

Volunteers with Friends of VPL help with our many fundraising activities and with the running of the Society. Although volunteers do not work in the Library, they contribute to the programs, collections, and activities of the VPL.

Exciting Opportunities

We are actively recruiting volunteers for several specific positions. Learn more here:

Friends Ambassador

Connect with your local library branch and represent the Friends of the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) as a Friends of the VPL Ambassador! This volunteer opportunity is an excellent way to raise awareness among your fellow local branch patrons about Friends membership and fundraising initiatives, and to inform branch staff about Friends funding and grant opportunities.

Volunteers over the age of 18 are eligible to apply for the program and, once accepted, are requested to commit to one year of service at a minimum. Friends of the VPL Ambassadors are responsible for the following activities as part of this flexible, low time-commitment volunteer opportunity!

Ambassador Activities:

Friends of the VPL Ambassadors perform one or more of the following activities as part of this flexible, low time-commitment volunteer opportunity.

  • Your local branch visits (3x/year)
    • Restocking Friends brochures
    • Sharing information with branch staff about how to access Friends grant funding opportunities and how to accept Friends memberships
  • Your local branch event participation (2x/year)
    • Attend two branch events and write a brief (150) word story about each for the Friends newsletter
  • Outreach (1x/year)
    • Representing Friends at community events and festivals (Word Vancouver, Car Free Day, etc.)
    • Promote Friends membership and benefits at Friends Used Book Sales (Central Branch)

Ambassador Perks:

  • Formal recognition for the representative work you may already be doing, sharing your love and support for the VPL with other community members, as an enthusiastic member of Friends
  • Given the autonomy of the role, Ambassadors will receive a VPL Ambassador Passport to track activities throughout the year
  • Ambassadors who complete all tasks in a year will receive recognition at Friends’ annual Volunteer Appreciation Event
  • All Ambassadors are eligible for a letter of recognition from Friends of the VPL, provided upon request
  • All Ambassadors are eligible for Friends of the VPL membership discount at book’mark The Library Store

To express interest or for more information, please email friends@friendsofthevpl.ca

Volunteer Coordinator

Friends of the Vancouver Public Library is seeking a Volunteer Coordinator to assist with recruitment and communications for our book sales, gift store and other volunteer opportunities. The Volunteer Coordinator is a flexible position that can mostly be done from home.

Volunteer Coordinator Activities:

  • Check Friends of the VPL email account weekly, respond to general and volunteer inquiries (weekly)
  • Liaise with Used Book Sales, Book Sorting, and book’mark The Library Store leadership and Board of Directors to ensure volunteer needs are fulfilled (monthly)
  • Coordinate recruitment and schedule volunteers for Used Book Sale (3 times a year)
  • Assist in the maintenance of records of volunteer activities in Friends of the VPL membership database (monthly)
  • Email communications to Friends members about volunteer opportunities (occasional)

Time Commitment: 5 – 10 hours per month, flexible

Perks: 

  • Flexible time/location volunteer opportunity
  • Working with and meeting a great group of people
  • Being part of a mission-driven organization

Key Skills:

  • Good with people 
  • Strong communication – email and in-person
  • Organised and able to follow processes

To express interest or for more information, please email friends@friendsofthevpl.ca

Board Member

Friends of the Vancouver Public Library is seeking motivated and creative members to serve on the Board of Directors for a term of 1 year (minimum) to 5 years (maximum). This engaging and rewarding volunteer position is a great opportunity for people who are interested in governance, fundraising, advocacy and awareness of libraries, and project leadership. 

Board Member Activities:

  • Attend monthly board meeting (VPL Central branch, second Tuesday of the month, 6-8 pm)
  • Lead a committee and attend committee meetings (ad hoc)
  • Liaise with other Friends board members and leaders of volunteer initiatives to coordinate and promote volunteering with Friends
  • Assist President and Vice-President in duties as required
  • Attend occasional events (e.g. Volunteer Appreciation brunch in February, Book Sale, and AGM in May, other ad hoc)

Time Commitment: 10 hours per month, flexible

Perks: 

  • Flexible time/location volunteer opportunity
  • Working with and meeting a great group of people
  • Being part of a mission-driven organization
  • Gain and consolidate leadership and governance skills

Key Skills:

  • Good with people 
  • Strong communication – email and in-person
  • Interest in fundraising
  • Interest in governance

To express interest or for more information, please email friends@friendsofthevpl.ca 

 

Almost Always Recruiting

Friends is almost always recruiting for the positions below. Please learn more about the position and follow the instructions to apply.

Work in book’mark The Library Store - Recruiting

book’mark is a retail business at Central Branch, with profits going to support The Vancouver Public Library.

Position description:

  • Commit to a minimum of six months and at least one 4 hour shift per week.
  • Fluency in oral and written English; knowledge of other languages is an asset.
  • Previous retail or customer service experience is preferred.
  • Primary responsibilities:
  • Greet and assist customers
  • Knowledgeable about store merchandise
  • Complete cash or charge sales transactions
  • Assist with pricing and merchandising of new products

If you enjoy the challenges of a retail environment and love people contact please come into our store and fill out our membership and volunteer application form. Please include a current resume. Potential candidates will be interviewed when there are openings. Contact friends@friendsoftheVPL.ca for more information.

Help us run our used book sales - Recruiting

Friends of the VPL runs three Used Book Sales a year, usually in May, September and December. The sales are three days long, and require approximately 50 volunteers for each sale.

Position description:

  • This is very physical work! Some heavy lifting required
  • Help with set up and pack up – unpacking books for sale and repacking unsold books
  • Assisting buyers and tidying tables on the sale floor
  • Cashiering, cash handling at point of sale

3-hour shifts. This work is a high-energy, great fun way to interact with Friends, patrons and the public! It would suit people interested in occasional volunteer opportunities.

Book sorting for the used book sales - Recruiting

In preparation for our Used Book Sales, Friends accepts used book donations year-round. Donated books are pre-sorted into subject areas, priced and repacked. This work is done in the Friends office at Central Branch.

Position description:

  • Sorting books into broad sale/subject categories
  • Heavy lifting may be required, and volunteers should be able to stand for most of the time they are in the office or hallway, and not be allergic to dust!
  • Special knowledge: some volunteers with understanding of French, European and Asian languages would be appreciated
  • Shifts are usually once a week, during the daytime, Monday to Friday
Help us with fundraising - Recruiting

Fundraising and Donor Recognition:

Responsible for creating, planning, resourcing, and staffing fundraising opportunities for Friends, promotes grateful recognition of donors, may also be a Board Member.

 

Donate

Since its founding, Friends of the VPL has donated over $750,000 to the Vancouver Public Library. You can donate one-time or monthly. Please contact us to set up a monthly donation or donate here.

Funds from the Friends of the VPL support programs and initiatives such as:

  • Writer in Residence
  • Writing and Book Camp
  • Furniture, artwork, supplies and games for library branches

For the complete list of Friends funded initiatives check out last year’s report, Donations and Fundraising 2018.

Tell Your Friends!

If you love the Vancouver Public Library, tell your friends about it! Friends of the VPL works to support and promote the library in our community and to raise funds for special projects and library initiatives. So share your experiences of VPL – and encourage others to use and support the library and the work of Friends of the VPL.