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Volunteer Information Specialist (Office of Visitor Services)
Museum Information Desk Program

Volunteers at an information desk

Inspire and encourage participation in the Smithsonian's big picture by welcoming visitors to the Smithsonian. Help visitors discover all that the Smithsonian has to offer. Provide information and answer questions about the Smithsonian—its exhibitions, activities and services. Answer questions in person at our welcome desks. Give directions and make unexpected connections to the places and events around the Smithsonian. Ignite curiosity. Ensure that visitors—and potential visitors—have the best possible Smithsonian experience.


Consider applying to the Museum Information Desk Program if this describes you:
  • Outgoing
  • Enthusiastic
  • Customer service focused
  • Enjoy working with diverse people
  • Basic computer skills
  • Foreign language skills (very helpful but not required)

Volunteer Information Specialists:

  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Have cleared a federal background investigation
  • Have completed of all required phases of training:
    - 5 days of classroom instruction
    - Museum tours and exploration
    - Final exam
    - On-the-job training in the Castle
    - Museum specific training
Shifts and Locations

After successfully completing all requirements, Volunteer Information Specialists make a 1 year commitment to either a weekday or a weekend shift. For example: one Wednesday morning shift each week or one Saturday afternoon shift every other weekend. Shifts vary depending on hours of operation and vacancies at these locations:

  • African American History and Culture 9:30-1:30/1:30-5:30 (Tuesdays and Thursdays only)
  • African Art 9:30-1:15/12:45-4:30
  • American Art and Portrait Gallery 11:00-2:30/2:00-5:30/5:00-7:00
  • American History 9:30-1:15/12:45-4:30 (Seasonal extended hours 4-7:30)
  • American Indian on the National Mall 9:45-1:45/1:30-5:30
  • Freer/Sackler 9:30-1:15/12:45-4:30
  • Hirshhorn 9:30-1:15/12:45-4:30
  • Natural History 9:30-1:15/12:45-4:30 (Seasonal extended hours 4-7:30)
  • Postal 9:30-1:15/12:45-4:30
  • Renwick Gallery Closed for renovation.
  • Smithsonian Information Center (Castle Desk) 8:30-12:30/9:30-1:30/1:00-5:00
To Apply
  • Go to on-line application.
  • Find and select an open Information Specialist opportunity.
  • Complete all required fields of the on-line application (including 2 references)
  • Attend a 1:1 interview with Volunteer Management Staff and possibly a 2nd interview with museum staff
For more information:


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