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Become a Reading Buddy!

Why are pirates called pirates? (They just ARRRRR!)

If you, like me and countless kids in Pittsburgh, enjoy corny jokes like these, then consider becoming a Reading Buddies volunteer!

No seriously, I’m not joking. Reading Buddies is a volunteer program where the library recruits, trains, and places caring adults in our Children’s Spaces to engage in kid led activities during out of school time.

This could be telling silly jokes, playing Uno or other fun games, working on crafts and activities, getting deep into the world of Roblox, or… just about anything. Do you have a passion for helping kids with homework? There will probably be a helpful amount of that as well (and if you’re unsure about homework help, we have trainings to support you and make you aware of library resources you can share with kids in our Children’s Spaces).

It works like this: if you’re interested in volunteering with children in our community, you can browse opportunities here and apply to be a Reading Buddy by emailing us at, subject line: tell me a corny joke (or, subject line: Reading Buddies, whichever works for you).

We’ll invite you to a centralized training where you and a cohort of new Reading Buddies will be onboarded to some library basics and guidelines for working with kids (yes, it is called READING Buddies, but no, you are not limited to reading and in fact should explore what the kids are interested in exploring!). We will match you with a branch based on their need and your availability, and from there you’ll meet the staff and the kids and begin to schedule regular volunteer shifts.

As a Children’s Librarian for many years, I saw that Reading Buddies is one of the most fulfilling volunteer roles the library hosts. The kids love when Buddies are in the space, and our volunteers do too. If you have any questions, or would like to sign up, email us at and we’ll start the sign-up process with you.

In the meantime, what do you call a pile of cats? (A meow-ntain!)

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