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Internships & Volunteering

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General Internships and Volunteering

Poets House depends on the help of volunteers and interns for a variety of staffing needs. We expect our interns to work a minimum of 8 hours per week. Assigned responsibilities depend on prior experience, skills, interest, and commitment, but often include:

  • greeting guests at reception, answering questions about Poets House, and promoting membership and public programs
  • processing book donations and memberships
  • acting as patrons’ point of contact in the library, answering reference questions, and reshelving books
  • fielding and directing calls, as well as delivering incoming mail to the proper recipients
  • drafting content for Poets House’s social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • fact-checking, copyediting, and preparing mail correspondence
  • supporting education initiatives by assisting education staff with active programs and leading Tiny Poets Time, a weekly reading program for children ages two to four
  • dependent on individual availability, serving as a doorkeeper for after-hours literary programs with responsibilities including welcoming guests, processing admissions and book sales, and assisting set-up and clean-up efforts
  • depending on skill level and interest, assisting staff members with special projects


  • active engagement with and passion for literary art, especially poetry
  • strong written and verbal communication skills and a welcoming personality
  • detail-oriented with strong organizational skills
  • a positive, self-motivated individual capable of completing short- and long-term projects on a deadline 
  • BA or some college-level experience preferred

To apply, please send a resume to Literary Partners and Volunteer Coordinator Valentine Conaty, with a cover letter stating your areas of interest and the hours you are available to work.

This is an unpaid internship opportunity.


Library Internships and Volunteering

Library-specific internships and volunteer opportunities at Poets House offer hands-on experience in a special library with a rich collection of poetry across formats. Volunteers and interns generally work between 5 and 15 hours per week during our weekday open hours, Tuesday through Friday, 11 am – 7 pm.

Responsibilities may include:

  • copy-cataloging and original cataloging using Koha and OCLC Connexion
  • enhancing existing catalog records
  • shelving, shelf-checking, and other similar tasks
  • working with archives, multimedia, digital collections, and special collections materials
  • answering reference questions
  • performing research on publishers and poetry titles for our annual exhibition, the Poets House Showcase
  • writing blog posts focused on library materials


  • previous library experience or MSLIS coursework (strongly preferred)
  • working knowledge of cataloging in MARC/RDA and experience with Koha and OCLC Connexion (strongly preferred)
  • strong attention to detail and good communication skills
  • enthusiasm for literature

To apply, please send a resume to Reginald Harris, with a cover letter stating your areas of interest and the hours you are available to work. We prefer interns and volunteers with library and cataloging experience, but if you have strong organizational and writing skills and a deep interest in poetry, a special project may be arranged.

This is an unpaid internship opportunity.


Other Volunteer Opportunities

Poets House is greatly appreciative of other volunteered services, including photography, filming, video editing, graphic design, social media skills, and web expertise. Please reach out to us if you have these or other skills you would like to offer to Poets House.