Current graduate students studying Library and Information Science, Archives and Records Management, Museum Studies, or Public History may apply to volunteer. Introductory coursework in Archives and Special Collections is encouraged. Prospective volunteers must fill out an application form, provide a resume, have a brief interview with the library’s Curator of Special Collections, and undergo a background check (to be reimbursed by the library).
Prospective volunteers may begin at any time, pending institutional need. They are under the supervision of the Curator of Special Collections and Archivist and are expected to follow the library’s rules of behavior and best practices presented by the Curator and Archivist. Set shifts may occur Monday through Friday between 9 am and 5 pm, for a number of hours determined between the volunteer and the Curator and Archivist. Class credit may be obtained per student’s request. All opportunities are unpaid. Students seeking limited, short term opportunities for class requirements (class project, alternative spring break, etc.) are encouraged to contact the library’s Curator of Special Collections.
Volunteers will learn about the day to day activities of Special Collections. Volunteers assist with timely tasks of Special Collections, and are given short term assignments based on immediate institutional need. These tasks may change from week to week and may include research for reference requests, rehousing incoming materials, basic labeling and metadata, stacks maintenance, and on occasion, outreach. Students interested in course credit through their university may collaborate with the Curator and Archivist to create a project with distinct outcomes and set number of hours.
About Special Collections
The Oak Park Public Library’s Special Collections curates, protects, and makes available heritage collections that reflect the unique values and enduring legacies of Oak Park and its inhabitants. Collecting emphasis is on local authors and figures—including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ernest Hemingway, Percy Julian, Carol Shields, Frank Lloyd Wright, Harriette Gillem Robinet, and Philander Barclay. Learn more about Special Collections »
Interested students should submit cover letter and resume to Leigh Tarullo, Manager of Special Collections »