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Last edited by Mek
January 5, 2022 | History

Volunteering @ Open Library


Open Library ( is a non-profit, open source, digital public library, hosted by the Internet Archive, which lends millions of ebooks to millions of patrons each year. Open Library is made possible by volunteers, like you, from more than 8 different countries (US, NL, NZ, ES, IN, UK, DE, GR, CA). We believe everyone deserves a say in how their library serves our community. A library should be not only for, but of the people. Together, let's build the World's library.

If you're busy but still like to show your generosity and support our cause, consider sponsoring a book or making a tax-deductible donation.

How it Works

Open Library hosts an invite-only community chat room on slack where book lovers and contributors can stay updated, ask questions, and collaborate towards improve Each week, Open Library also hosts an inclusive Community Call where members of the community may learn and participate in discussing the evolution of

To join our chat or participate in one of our weekly community calls, please "Choose Your Character" and click the relevant link to become involved. We're so excited to welcome you!

Choose Your Character

Want to get involved? First, lets choose your character: Which role best describes you?


Open Library's book catalog has millions of books and thousands of data errors. Sometimes author names are misspelled, book covers are missing, or works and authors are duplicated or conflated. Librarians work together and communicate using our Slack chat channel to identify and fix data issues in our catalog. If you've ever been interested in programming scripts, Open Library's engineering team has written guides and created basic tools to empower librarians to start fixing common problems at scale. Your contributions will help patrons find the books they are looking for, ensure patrons receive accurate data, and that our engineering team has the right feedback to build thoughtful tools for librarians and our greater Open Library community. Learn more about librarianship at Open Library or browse our librarian resources.

There are two classes of tasks librarians help with:

  1. Contribute as a Collections Librarian - help create special themed collections for the community
  2. Contribute as a Catalog Librarian - help improve data and merge duplicate books & authors records

Communications & Outreach

As a library, we're excited about how we're making our resources discoverable and accessible to book lovers around the world. These projects include technical writing and storytelling, editing, research, marketing campaigns, media production, language localization, to sharing ideas and cheering others on. And, you contribute at your own pace.

Software Engineer

Want to write code that empowers million of book lovers to discover books they'll love? Each year scores of volunteers help fix bugs on and architect new features and programs that reach thousands of patrons. For instance, the Reading Log has been used more than a million times by readers to track their reading progress!

Getting Started: If you're interested in getting started, try getting your developer environment set up and take a look at these good first issues.

Ask Questions Follow and join us on Github, Gitter, and our slack; we have a handful of different software engineering roles available:

Designer & User Researcher

Does look like it's from the the 90's? Help us fix that!

Accessibility Champion

We believe Open Library should be accessible to every patron, including those with print disabilities, and we need your help to ensure no one is left behind. Team up with Brian McNeilly, an accessibility expert with more than eight years of digital accessibility consulting experience, to help Open Library meet and exceed accessibility compliance across a variety of tests and considerations.

Why you'll love teaming up with Brian to help patrons access Open Library? Brian has presented at events nationwide including the National Forum on Principles of Accessibility and Inclusion for the Design of Library Systems hosted by MIT, the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, and the Museums and the Web Conference. He has assisted hundreds of clients & helped develop web accessibility standards with the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).

Learn how to join the effort:


Help Open Library better serve an international audience and increase availability and accessibility across the globe by contributing as a translator. To learn more, please read our translator's wiki guide and check out this github issue.


January 5, 2022 Edited by Mek Edited without comment.
December 22, 2021 Edited by Mek Edited without comment.
December 22, 2021 Edited by Mek Edited without comment.
December 22, 2021 Edited by Mek Edited without comment.
June 18, 2021 Created by Drini Copy from /volunteer