Volunteering at the Library

August 19, 2014 |

Teens NYCL crop
A YAG meeting at North York Central Library.

Did you know that you can volunteer at the library and earn community service hours? It's also a great opportunity to learn new skills and make a difference in your community. Transit fare assistance is available for library volunteers on request.


Youth Advisory Groups (YAGs)

Give back to your neighbourhood. Create a better library for you and other youth in your community and earn community service hours towards your high school diploma. Join a Youth Advisory Group that is just for teens. Recommend great books, movies, and music to other teens and to the library. Add your voice to teen services and programs, and invite others to join in.

Our Youth Advisory Groups are for teens ages 13-19.


"Volunteering with the Youth Advisory Group has given me opportunities to express my own opinions and be part of my library's community. I've been lucky to volunteer with like-minded students to help improve the library experience for teens and all library visitors."       

            - Arden, Youth Advisory Group volunteer


What the Volunteer Does

When you become a YAG volunteer, you attend regular meetings with library staff at your local branch to plan and work on the services and programs you'll be supporting with your volunteer time, and at other times to contribute to special projects.

Volunteer Benefits

  • Volunteer references and confirmation of hours can be provided upon request
  • Volunteers may make personal photocopies at the staff rate
  • Non-resident fees are waived for current volunteers with six months or more of active service
  • Gain experience for job and school applications
  • Meet and collaborate with other awesome youth and library staff


  • Attend formal YAG meetings on a regular basis
  • Collaborate with staff in the planning and delivery of teen programs
  • Promote and speak up for the library

How to Apply

Volunteer Application - YAGThe application process varies from branch to branch, but most YAGs have an interview and set their own timelines. Many YAGs start new volunteers in the fall, but some have year-round intake. Note that not all branches have YAGs.

  1. Contact the branch you are interested in volunteering at to see if they're taking on new members. Feel free to call the branch or stop by for more info. Ask to speak with the YAG facilitator.
  2. Download and complete the YAG Volunteer Application Form (Word document)
  3. Bring the completed application to the library branch whose YAG you'd like to join.

Branches with YAGs

Agincourt  Jane/Sheppard
Albert Campbell Kennedy/Eglinton
Albion Leaside
Amesbury Park Lillian H. Smith
Barbara Frum Malvern
Bloor/Gladstone Maria A. Shchuka
Brentwood McGregor Park
Bridlewood Mount Dennis
Brookbanks  North York Central
Cedarbrae  Northern District
Centennial Oakwood Village
Danforth/Coxwell Palmerston
Don Mills Pape/Danforth
Downsview Parliament
Dufferin/St. Clair Rexdale
Eatonville Richview
Evelyn Gregory Riverdale
Fairview Runnymede
Flemingdon Park S. Walter Stewart
Gerrard/Ashdale Sanderson
Goldhawk Park Steeles
Hillcrest Thorncliffe
Humberwood Weston
Jane/Dundas York Woods

Leading to Reading

Leading to Reading is a literacy-based program that assists children in Grades 1-6 who are struggling with reading. Through the assistance of volunteers the Leading to Reading program strives to turn reading and learning into a fun and positive experience.

Volunteering with this program can be an extremely rewarding experience for both the volunteer and the child they work with. Volunteering with Leading to Reading is about giving your skills, time and energy freely and with enthusiasm.


Cyber Seniors

Cyber Seniors is a program in some Toronto Public Library branches where seniors are matched with a 'mentor' (teen volunteer) to learn how to make better use of computers and new technology. One of the volunteers with Cyber Seniors wrote a blog post about his experience and how much he enjoyed participating in the program.


More Volunteer Opportunities

The Toronto Public Library offers many rewarding volunteer opportunities for teens and adults. If you have any questions about volunteering, contact us or call 416-395-5553.

For information about volunteering in Toronto for teens, visit our Volunteering in Toronto resource page.