Volunteering for Library Services
Libraries are safe, local community spaces and they also offer a wealth of volunteering opportunities with a wide variety of roles.
You could be a digital champion, help children with reading and choosing books or be out and about delivering books to a neighbour.
We recognise that people are busy and sometimes people can only offer small amounts of time, but this is fine and we find it can work really well. Volunteers can come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience, no qualifications are required and there is no expectation that they will have all the skills of a qualified librarian.
Some volunteers have a particular interest or knowledge that they would like to share and so might want to run a poetry group, and we even have knitting groups!
In Worcestershire, there are currently 238 volunteers working 9,390 hours for Libraries and Learning, showing what a valued resource they are and how they help to ensure these much-appreciated community services can continue to be operated.
As Kathy Kirk, Libraries and Learning Manager, said: "Libraries play a crucial role in our communities and despite the obvious financial pressures we face, we are committed to maintaining good quality services for customers and volunteers are vital in helping us to sustain local quality library services.
We have a wide range of volunteers and here are some of their comments:
Katie Bolshaw, a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer, supported by her local library, said:
"Doing the Summer Reading Challenge was great, I loved it. I got on really well with the children and they got on well with me. It has taught me more about working with children. Overall I really enjoyed it and hope to do it next year."
Alex Brooks also did the Summer Reading Challenge as a volunteer and said:
"I really enjoyed the experience. I enjoyed asking the young children what books they liked and I tried to recommend books I had enjoyed while I was at that particular age."
Laura Dedicoat, Worcestershire's first Young Poet Laureate in 2011, said:
"I didn't really know what to expect but I didn't expect it to be so varied. It's been a real eye opener and developed me as a person in so many different ways. It's taken me to lots of different places where I've met some fantastic people, as well as being exposed to so many types of poetry styles and events that just took me by surprise."
Anna, started as a volunteer at Malvern Library shelving books and helping with children's activities but was so successful she was offered a paid work placement as a trainee. She said:
"One of the most important aspects for me of working in the library is the relationships I have built up with both staff and customers. My confidence has improved more than I could ever have imagined and every day I learn something new and am placed in new situations which I learn to deal with."
Aileen Wolfenden runs a poetry group at Evesham Library and said:
"This has proved extremely successful in learning about techniques, discussing favourite poems and writing some of our own, a lot of which has led to increased confidence and self-esteem."
If you would like to volunteer at your local library, please contact your local library.