Library - Alviso Branch

Virtual Volunteering - Teen Book Reviewer

Are you looking for a fun way to volunteer from home? San José Public Library is looking for avid book readers interested in writing book reviews. Each book you review counts as one hour of volunteering. You can write up to 10 reviews per quarter for a maximum of 10 hours. 

How You Will Make a Difference

Teen Book Reviewers play a pivotal role in encouraging other teens to read the same fun books from our library catalog that you're reading. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Write book reviews that will be evaluated by a librarian to ensure that they follow the guidelines below.

Communicating with the librarian: emailing the book review, read the feedback, and revising as necessary.

Publishing the review with your account.

Book Review Submission Process

  • Write a book review following these guidelines. 
    • Book review must be one paragraph long.
    • Include a short summary of the book.
    • Write about what you liked or disliked about the book.
    • Avoid Plagiarism.
    • Avoid Double-Dipping.
    • Avoid spoilers.
  • Send your review to a designated branch librarian. The librarian will ensure it meets the guidelines and get back to you.
  • Book Reviews will be evaluated with responses sent every Thursday and Friday.
    • Please avoid sending emails requesting follow-up unless 2 weeks have passed since your last correspondence.
  • Once you hear from the librarian, post your review on our library catalog,
    • Give it an Age rating and a Star rating
    • Make sure your review is made public so that it can be seen
  • Send the librarian a screenshot of your review, and BOOM! You’ve just earned an hour of volunteer service 


  • Promotes a love of lifelong reading among youth
  • Connect with your community and provide a desired service
  • Share your opinions of author's writings
  • Develop writing skills

Policy for Requesting References and Letters of Recommendation

As volunteers in this program will not receive a regular schedule, and accomplishments will vary, requests for employment references and letters of recommendation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, this opportunity is not structured in a way to help teens develop the leadership and teamwork skills that colleges desire, nor does it offer work experience. If you are interested in an opportunity where you can practice more leadership and teamwork skills, please sign up for our Active Teens Reach Opportunity: details below.

Expected Commitment

You can write up to 10 reviews per calendar quarter as indicated below for a maximum of 10 hours.

You can write as many or as little reviews as you want per quarter as long as you do not exceed 10 per calendar quarter. 10 per calendar quarter is the absolute limit. No accommodations will be given if you did not complete 10 reviews in a prior quarter.

Quarter Breakdown in any given year





Requirements for Onsite Volunteers

  1. Review the  Volunteer Handbook, which will be emailed to you, and be aware of the following branch-specific policies.
    1. In some instances, you hours will be auto-logged, but it is still your responsibility to make sure that all hours that you have volunteered will be credited to you.
    2. The volunteer handbook says to contact your Coordinator of Volunteer Engagement if you will be late or absent, however, as you are a teen volunteer, I am you onsite supervisor, so you will contact me if you are going to be late or absent from a shift you sign up for.
    3. Do not use electronic devices if they will interfere with completing your assigned volunteer tasks.
    4. Do not visit with friends who are not volunteering with you.
    5. No eating or drinking on the public floor (bottled water is permissible). You may take a break to eat if volunteering for 4 hours or more in a day. Please inform me when you are taking a break.
    6. Do not bring a child/sibling you must supervise.
    7. While we will allow you to use onsite lockers to store valuables, please make sure to bring your own lock, and the library cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items.
  2. Sign and submit the volunteer signature form: a link will be sent to you after you apply and answer some questions.
  3. Verify your vaccination status prior to beginning your volunteer assignment.
  4. Additionally, you will be required to attend an orientation before volunteering onsite if that is something that you want.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

As volunteers are needed for other programs and services, we will email all volunteers. Please check your email regularly.

Additionally, if you are interested in taking a more active role in how programs and services are delivers to teens and the general public, please sign up to be an Active Teens Reach Member: only one application is necessary. Volunteers with our Teens Reach are required to attend meetings once a month. This is also a great way to meet other teens who are volunteering at the library.

Please only sign up for one library branch for this volunteer opportunity. 

Qualifications Required

  • Age Must be at least 13+